No Contact Orders and Protection Orders in Washington
Washington courts, particularly those in Snohomish County, take no-contact orders (also called “anti-harassment” or “domestic violence protection” orders) very seriously. Our courts grant them generally as a matter or course; it take a great deal of experience and preparation to avoid imposition of one as part of a criminal matter; allegedly violating one can have significant penalties, including possible felony charges. Fortunately, Ashbach Law Offices, LLC has much successful experience in representing those charged with violating a no-contact order, and those upon whom a court (or individual) seeks to impose such an order. If you are running into a No-contact order problem, call (360) 659-4950 for a free, no-pressure consulation. Also, please read below for more information.
A court order prohibiting a person from not contacting another person can be granted in several ways, under different authority (statutes), can have varying periods of effectiveness, and have different punishment.
If you have been charged with a crime, such as assault or a form of domestic violence, the court may impose a no-contact order, restraining you from having contact with the alleged victim. This order can come in two types: a formal no-contact order and a condition of release. If a formal no-contact order is in place, you must abide by the terms of the order; violation of the terms is a gross misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a $5000 fine. If a person violates a no-contact order several times, or allegedly commits an assault in violation of the no-contact order, that person may be charged with a felony.
As opposed to a formal no-contact order, the criminal court could simply impose a no-contact order as a condition of pre-trial release. Violation may not lead to a crime, but it would likely mean that you get arrested and held in jail until a) your case is over, or b) you post sufficient bail to secure your release.
Note that even if the protected party does not want the no-contact order, a criminal court often imposes one, even if it will cause the parties significant hardship. An attorney, if contacted early enough before the initial court date to prepare, may be able to keep the order from being imposed. An attorney should also be able to help you in getting such an order removed.
A party who fears for his or her safety may also apply to a court for an order of protection. Most courts have packets with forms and instructions for making the application. Application for a no-contact or protection order in a court generally results in a 14-day temporary no-contact order, followed by a full hearing where both the applicant and the respondent have an opportunity to argue and respond. Oftentimes, if a no-contact order is issued, the restrained party has to give up possession of his/her firearms. Our office has successfully represented many, many people in these situations.
If you have been charged with violating a no-contact order, or someone is trying to put a no-contact order on you, call our office today at (360) 659-4950 for a free consultation. We have had great success in representing our clients in these types of situations, throughout Snohomish County and Skagit County. This includes Arlington, Edmonds, Everett, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, and Mukilteo, Washington.