Criminal harassment and domestic violence are common reasons why someone will seek a restraining order. The State of Washington has laws against a person violating the court order. In fact, the State imposes serious consequences on a defendant convicted of violating a restraining order.
What is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order is an order of protection given by a court. The order will require a person to either act (i.e. take a route that will avoid the other person’s place of work) or not act (i.e. do not send messages or try to contact the other person).
When is it considered Restraining Order Violation in Washington?
Washington State considers it to be a restraining order violation when a defendant violates or ignores the requirements of the court order.
Will I Go to Prison If I am Convicted of Violating a Restraining for the First Time?
No. A first-time restraining order violation is charged as a gross misdemeanor. A gross misdemeanor is the most serious in the classification of misdemeanors.
What’s the Punishment for a Gross Misdemeanor in Washington State?
A convicted defendant can face up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
What If this isn’t My First Restraining Order Violation in Washington State?
If the defendant has two precious convictions for violating a restraining order, the State increases the charge to a class C felony. A defendant will face up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Community service and community supervision may also be a part of the punishment.
Should I Contact a Lawyer about Fighting My Restraining Order Violation?
Yes. It’s vital for you to understand defenses available to you and your rights regarding the crime. Contact a Washington criminal lawyer for help.