No Contact Orders
Nearly all crimes can be bunched into two overarching groups: crimes involving victims and victimless crimes. Victimless crimes include offenses such as DUI, drug possession, or prostitution. Crimes involving victims are more numerous, including sex crimes, theft, and domestic violence. Any time a crime involves a victim, the judge will impose a no contact order as a condition of either bond or pretrial release. Even if the “victim” is a store like Home Depot or Walmart, the court will impose a condition that the defendant not return to the location of the alleged offense while the case is pending.
There are many reasons courts impose no contact orders. On one hand, the orders are present to genuinely protect victims of crime. In domestic violence situations, courts and prosecutors want to put rules in place to prohibit contact and future violence between the parties. More nefariously, no contact orders are put in place to create leverage for prosecutors and courts to hold over the heads of defendants. If a defendant is even accused of violating a no contact order, he or she will inevitably end up in custody with his or her bond revoked awaiting trial. This will often result in the defendant suddenly desiring to plea out their case when they would have otherwise pressed forward to trial. If you have a no contact order issued against you for a criminal case, you should not hesitate to contact a skilled Clearwater criminal defense lawyer to help you deal with your case.
No contact orders are extremely common bond conditions that are, in one way or another, imposed on nearly every crime involving a victim. One of the reasons courts impose no contact orders is that they know there is a high likelihood that the defendant will get in contact with the victim or vice-versa. Take domestic violence cases for example. Very often, alleged victims of domestic violence will realize that they made a mistake in calling the police or have lied about what truly happened. Victims in this position will sometimes show up to the defendant’s bond hearing to ask that the no contact order be deleted. These victims should also speak with an experiences Clearwater criminal lawyer before appearing to testify, as there could be wide ranging consequences based on what is said at the hearing.
In many domestic violence cases, the imposition of the no contact order will have more wide ranging effects than just prohibiting contact. Often people involved in domestic disputes live together, and the imposition of a no contact order can immediately make the defendant homeless. This process opens the door for false accusations by alleged victims who are trying to get an upper hand in other proceedings. For example, a husband or wife who is seeking a divorce or child custody can make a domestic violence claim against their spouse, resulting in their expulsion from the home and sometimes a no contact order against the victim and children.
A no contact order can last all the way until the end of a criminal case. Depending on the severity of the charges, a criminal case can drag on for up to a year or more. In many circumstances, a skilled Clearwater criminal lawyer can get the no contact order modified or lifted. In the best case scenario, both parties involved will desire the lifting of the no contact order. When both parties want the same thing, the court will more often decide in that direction. At the very least, a skilled lawyer can take a stepped approach and set up contact for the purposes of exchanging custody of children or working out financial arrangements.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
Don’t let the imposition of a no contact order you pressure you into acting rashly on your case. Speak to our lawyers today and learn how we can make progress in lifting those orders and handling your case. Consult us now at 727.897.5413.