This is the fourth post in my series on how Phoenix residents can defend against charges that they violated a protective order. My last post explained why defendants are sometimes falsely accused of violating an order of protection. It is important to understand that false allegations must still be taken very seriously. In this post I will discuss an important issue in such cases – the fact that it is not a defense to claim that the victim contacted you first. If you find yourself charged with the violation of an order of protection then the best thing to do is to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.
An order of protection is issued by a Judge to protect the safety of a victim. Such orders make it illegal to contact the protected person, to come within a certain distance of them, or to have someone else do so on behalf of the person whom the order is against. These requirements are absolute and “no contact” means “no contact.” I say this because many mistakenly believe that they are permitted to have contact with the victim if the victim initiates such interaction. This is not the case. A defendant, for example, is not permitted to talk to a victim on the phone even if the victim initiates the call. Similarly, one should not interact with a victim even if the victim shows up at their home. To do so would still be a violation of the Court’s order and can lead to criminal charges.
If you have TPO, or a permanent order of protection, in place against you then do not interact with a victim who contacts you. The correct course of action in such a situation is to immediately contact an attorney and request that the Court dissolve the order. Courts are often willing to rescind orders in such situations; if a “victim” is voluntarily making contact with the defendant then he or she is obviously not afraid for their safety and a protective order is likely unnecessary. Keep in mind, however, that the order will remain in place until a Judge revokes it. This means that you must refrain from contact with the victim until a court date can be scheduled.
If you have been charged with violating a TPO then it is not a defense to claim that you were contacted first. It is important that you immediately contact an attorney as you are likely facing misdemeanor charges. I handle such matters in Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert. We also assist Pima County residents in Tucson. Call today to speak with a lawyer.