What is an Order of Protection, and What are The Consequences for Breaking One?
Courts in Tennessee take restraining order violations very seriously. An Order of Protection, commonly called a restraining order in Tennessee, is an order issued by a judge that orders someone that’s harming the person that petitioned for the order to stop what they’re doing or face the consequences of violating the order. It provides the petitioner legal protection against:
- Domestic abuse
- Threats of abuse
- Sexual assault
People who have been threatened with or subjected to the offenses mentioned above can request a restraining order from the court. An order will remain in effect for a specific period, usually not exceeding one year. But the judge can extend it if the offender is convicted of violating any of the terms and conditions of the order. The petitioner can also file a motion to have the order extended. The order may extend the protection order for five years or 10 years if it’s the offender’s second or subsequent conviction.
What Happens If I Violate an Order of Protection in Tennessee?
A violation of an Order of Protection against you can result in criminal and civil consequences, which can include some or all of the following, depending on your situation:
- The judge can hold you in civil contempt for an order of protection violation and order you to pay fines and go to jail. They may also assess a penalty of $50 and a bond of no less than $2,500 until the restraining order expires.
- If your order is related to domestic abuse and you violated it by contacting or harming the petitioner, you will be charged with a class A misdemeanor. Penalties can include a fine between $100 and $2,500 and jail time of 11 months and 29 days.
- If the police have reason to believe that you have violated the restraining order, they can arrest you without a warrant.
- You will be prohibited from possessing, transporting, receiving, and purchasing a firearm.
- Once you have been arrested, the police must hold you for a minimum of 12 hours in jail. You may be released earlier if a judge determines that you are not a threat to the petitioner. In this scenario, a court official will reach out to the petitioner and tell them of your early release from jail.
- An order of protection violation that involves further violence, such as sexual assault, stalking, or domestic assault, can lead to additional criminal charges.
Seek Legal Guidance From a Skilled Davidson County Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
If you received a notice from the court that an order of protection has been issued against you, discuss your case with the Davidson County criminal defense lawyer at Raybin & Weissman right away to avoid making mistakes that can further hurt your case.
Please call our office at 615-256-6666 or send us an online message to set up your free case evaluation with our Davidson County criminal defense lawyer today. You can also learn what you can do about the order against you and, if applicable, any criminal charges you are facing.