If you have been charged with a family violence offense, meaning that there is a crime alleged against a person with whom you have or have had romantic involvement or a member of your family, the court will issue a protective order during the pendency of the proceedings. The only issue is what level of protective order will be issued. There are a few options:
Partial Protective Order: This is the least restrictive. It provides that you may not assault, threaten, abuse, follow, interfere with, or harass the protected party.
Residential Stay Away: In addition to the requirements of the partial protective order, it also provides that you must stay away from the home of the protected party or anyplace he/she resides. In many cases, this means that the client is ordered out of his primary residence.
Full No Contact: In addition to the requirements of the partial and residential stay away orders, the full no contact is the most restrictive and provides that the accused may not contact the protected party in any manner or even through a third party. This means no phone calls, texts, social media posts, email, etc.
These orders are usually recommended by the Office of Family Relations. All protective orders will order you to surrender or transfer all firearms during the pendency of the case. A violation of the court's order is a Class D felony.
If you are issued a full no contact order, at arraignment you may request a hearing pursuant to State v. Fernando A. This entitles you to an evidentiary hearing at which time you may argue that the protective order imposed is not the least intrusive means necessary to protect the protected party. Modifications like this usually will not be done without the consent of the protected party.
Contact Attorney Paz to see if she can help get your protective order modified.
Family Violence Education Program
The Family Violence Education Program is a diversionary program that you may be eligible for if the crime alleged is not so serious and you have never before been convicted of a family violence offense. If granted, you would have to complete a course of up to 15 classes, mostly involving anger management techniques and learning to effectively communicate. Upon completion, the court will dismiss the charges.