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What Happens If I Violate A Restraining Order in Arizona?

Posted on November 9, 2023 in

Violating a restraining order is a serious offense in Arizona. Serious legal consequences arise such as criminal charges if there is proof of a violation of the restraining order.

How is restraining order defined in Arizona?

In Arizona, a restraining order is called a Protective Order and provides protection against acts of harassment or domestic abuse. It is served to a defendant in response to a person’s fear of possible harassment, assault or domestic violence. The defendant might not know that a person has requested an order until they are served with papers. Once the perpetrator receives the order, it is in effect for a full year.

 Types of Protective Orders in Arizona

  • Orders of protectionis a court order to seek protection from further abuse filed by a person you live with, now or in the past, or is an immediate family member. It prevents a person from engaging in an act of domestic violence to a family member, household member, or domestic partner.
  • Emergency orders of protection– may be granted by an authorized judicial officer in writing, verbally or by telephone for the protection of a person in “imminent and present danger of domestic violence.” a peace officer officer on an emergency or ex parte basis may file a petition for the crime victims. It is also limited to parties with relationships.
  • Injunctions against harassment is a court order to seek protection from a person who is not a relative or domestic partner to prevent acts of harassment against another person. Injunction prohibiting someone from harassing, annoying or alarming another person may be granted for disputes against neighbors, strangers, and people who are or were dating.
  • Injunction against workplace harassment– an employer or an authorized agent of an employer may file a petition for this to prevent a person from being on the employer’s premises and from committing acts of harassment against the employer, the workplace, employees, or any other person who is on the employer’s property or at the place of business or who is performing official work duties.

An order of protection may be filed against you by any of the following persons:

  • Current or former spouse
  • Someone with whom you live together or have lived together in the same household
  • Someone with whom you are having an intimate relationship  or sexual relationship
  • One party pregnant by the other party or someone with whom you have a child in common
  • Your relative, or your current spouse’s relative (contact the Court for specific relatives)
  • One of the parties is a parent, grandparent, in-law or sibling

What are the types of harassment and domestic violence that may be grounds to request an order of protection?

  • Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Harassment
  • Aggravated Domestic Violence
  • Child or Vulnerable adult abuse
  • Criminal Damage
  • Criminal Trespass – first, second or third degree
  • Crimes Against Minors
  • Custodial Interference
  • Disobeying a court order
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Endangerment
  • Harassment
  • Kidnapping
  • Stalking
  • Surreptitious Videotaping
  • Threatening and Intimidating

Usually, petitions for protection orders are filed by victims of domestic violence.  However, they can escalate into the criminal cases when violations occur. If you are facing charges of restraining order violation, it is best to seek legal counsel of an experienced Phoenix criminal lawyer.

What does a restraining order do?

A restraining order prohibits an abuser from contacting the other person directly or through a third party or from being near a home, workplace, school, or other locations listed on the court order. Contact may be limited to telephone, text messaging, or email for example. In some cases, the order prohibits all contact. Usually, a specific perimeter distance is ordered to keep the abusers away from the complainant or a specific place. The court may also order the offending person to surrender all firearms, to move out of the shared residence. Furthermore, the perpetrator may be ordered by a judge to complete a domestic violence program or other intervention program.

It may be challenging to adhere to the conditions stipulated in the restraining orders, especially if these conditions will keep you away from your family or worse,  if the protective orders were unfairly obtained against you. As such,  some people violate these orders unintentionally and become criminally liable.

If you have been charged with violating your restraining order, call Howard Snader, Phoenix criminal defense attorney for legal assistance.

What is a restraining order violation?

If the defendant violates the terms of the protection order,  a restraining order violation may be charged. For instance,  if the civil court stipulates a no-contact order between two people and one of them calls the other,  there is already a violation.

If any aspect of the order is violated, the complainant can file a lawsuit against the violator since the restraining order is enforceable for one year. You may want to bear in mind that a restraining order will show up on your records and can come up during background checks.

Violation of an order for protection is a class one misdemeanor in Arizona. However, the defendant will be immediately detained pending a final decision by the judge regarding the release. Conviction of violating a protection order could include a maximum jail sentence of six months, a maximum fine of $2,500 and an 84% surcharge.

How can I seek dismissal or modification of the Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment issued against me?

The order/injunction is valid for one year after it is served. This does not mean that you can no longer appeal the terms.  During this year, you are entitled to one hearing on the order. To do so, you must file a written request for a hearing in the same Court that issued the Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment.

If the order is modified, the modified order has to be re-served and is effective for one year from the date of service of the original order. If the defendant does not accept the order while in the court, the judicial officer may detain the defendant until a law enforcement officer is summoned to serve the defendant the order.

Facing a restraining order violation in Arizona? Get legal services of an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer.

One of the best Phoenix criminal defense attorneys is Howard Snader. He will fight to protect your rights and work hard to build up your defenses necessary to avoid jail time and steep fines.

Call us for a free initial consultation.