No contact order and drug arrest what do I do?
Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “My fiancé and I were arrested for drugs. A no contact order was also issued. We live together. What does this mean for us?”
Overview of no contact order
A no contact order is generally issued by a judge when the court determines that one person must be protected from another person or from the behaviors of another person. If the court issued a no contact order between you and your fiancé this means you may be prohibited from the following activities:
- Contacting your fiancé
- Entering the home where your fiancé resides
- Coming within a designated distance from your fiancé
- Calling, texting, or emailing your fiancé
*Certain no contact orders may also include any of the above contact with children
What happens when you violate the no contact order?
The no contact order is a legal decree. It may seem like no big deal if you text your fiancé, but violating the order can have very serious consequences. For example, if you do any of the activities listed above you could be charged with a crime and face immediate arrest.
Unfortunately, without more information about the type of order which has been issued and the restrictions, it’s impossible to say for sure what type of penalties you might face.
Defending against a no contact order
There are a variety of different types of no contact orders which can be issued including a temporary order of protection (issued immediately and temporarily if a petitioner can convince the court they are in immediate danger), a domestic violence protection order (which prohibits contact with victim and their children), a stalking protection order (which outlines specific behaviors which are prohibited by the stalker), a child sexual assault protection order (which is issued when someone alleges nonconsensual sexual conduct or nonconsensual sexual penetration), and a anti-harassment orders (which are issued when someone takes actions which seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses someone and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress).
Defending against a no contact order
Now you didn’t mention the specifics of the no contact order, but if a no contact order has been issued you do have several rights.
First, take the order very seriously and take immediate steps. Find out the details about the order. The court is required to notify you about the request for a no contact order and to allow you the opportunity to defend yourself in court (with the exception for of a temporary no contact order). Although you are not entitled to a court appointed lawyer, you do have the right to hire your own lawyer to attend the no contact court proceeding.
If you decide to hire a lawyer, they can help complete steps to prepare for the hearing. For example, you will need to gather physical evidence to support your case. This can include gathering any photos, letters, GPS records, computer records, videos, emails or internet postings to help with your case. You can also make a list of potential witnesses to present verbal testimony to bolster your case.
Actions to avoid after a no contact order has been issued
We have discussed what you CAN do following a no contact order. Now let’s discuss what you should not do. First, do not destroy any evidence. Destruction of evidence could lead to criminal charges in your case.
Next, do not make any contact with your fiancé. Review the list outlined below and make sure you understand the restrictions of your no contact order. Any of the following actions could be a violation of your no contact order:
- In-person contact
- Text messages
- Phone contact
- Emails or other contact through websites or social networking
- Passing messages through third parties.
Remember, it’s up to you to ensure there is no contact. The order also remains in effect even if the other person or the petitioner attempts to make contact with you.
Finally, do not go out of the system to defend against the order. Do not try to talk sense into the other person or contact them to defend yourself. Talking to them can result in immediate arrest and criminal charges.
It does not matter if the no contact order bars you from contact with your fiancé and you two live together. No contact means no contact. You are now barred from having contact with her and will not be allowed to reside in the same house.
Abiding by the no contact order is especially important if you already have a pending criminal case against you. Keep in mind, it’s much more difficult for your lawyer to negotiate a plea agreement or defend against the drug charges when there are two cases against you instead of just one.
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