What You Need to Know About a Domestic Violence Protective Order

Lawyer shows info about Domestic Violence Protective Order rules.

A Domestic Violence Protective Order, also known as a DVPO or a 50B Order, is a court order that tells a defendant or the person against who the order is issued what they cannot do. If the court is satisfied that an act of domestic violence has occurred, it will issue an order of protection to prevent the defendant from committing future acts of domestic violence.

Common terms of a DVPO include:

  • No direct or indirect contact with the victim or their family;
  • Not to assault, threaten, or harass the alleged victim or their family;
  • Not visiting the victim’s workplace, school, or other places connected with the victim;
  • Paying the victim’s living expenses or child support; and
  • Not to possess any firearms.

In some cases, the terms of a DVPO will prevent you from entering your own home or speaking with your children.

Even though the requirements of the order of protection may seem harsh or unfair, you must comply with them.

Failure to comply with the terms of a DVPO can lead to additional criminal charges and harsher penalties.

Ways You Can Violate a DVPO

While every DVPO is unique, there are common ways in which people violate them.

Coming Too Close to or Contacting the Alleged Victim

Most protective orders will prohibit you from contacting the victim at any time and may require that you maintain a certain distance from the alleged victim. In these cases, contacting the victim includes physical contact as well as calling, texting, emailing, or using a social network to make contact.

Failing to Vacate Your Home

Some orders of protection will require that you move out of the home you share with the protected person. A police officer will accompany you to the residence so you can collect your belongings. Once you have been ordered to vacate the residence, you could face additional criminal charges if you return.

Visiting a Shared Workplace or School

Many domestic violence protective orders require that you not interfere with the alleged victim’s career or education. This can be challenging if you share a workplace or attend the same school.

Failure to Pay Bills

A DVPO may require that you continue to pay the rent, mortgage, insurance, utilities, or other living expenses of the alleged victim. Failure to do so can result in criminal charges for a DVPO violation.

Failing to Comply with Child Visitation Rules

The terms of the protective order could restrict the amount of time you can spend with your children or prevent you from making important decisions about their lives. The judge might give the alleged victim temporary care, control, or custody of your children if they believe doing so will keep the children out of an unhealthy environment.

Purchasing a Firearm

Most protection orders will require that you forfeit any firearms or ammunition and prohibit you from purchasing or using any kind of weapon while the DVPO is in effect. If you are a law enforcement officer or are in the military, you may be required to leave your job.

Responding to the Victim’s Attempts to Contact You

This one can be especially difficult. Most protection orders prohibit contact with the alleged victim even if they attempt to contact you first. This means you can be charged with and convicted of a DVPO violation simply for responding to a message from the victim or picking up the phone when they call.

Penalties for Violating a DVPO

The penalties for violating a domestic violence protection order can be severe, and a violation can impact your divorce or child custody proceedings.

A first-time violation of a DVPO is a Class A1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by 150 days in prison.

You could face charges if you commit a felony while a DVPO is in effect, are in possession of a deadly weapon while violating the protection order, enter a safe house where the protected person lives, or if you violate a protective order for a third time.

In addition, violating a protection order can negatively impact your divorce or child custody proceedings. Even though North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state, your spouse could use a DVPO violation to achieve a more favorable outcome in a divorce. Similarly, if you are involved in a child custody proceeding, the court’s priority is the well-being of the children, and the judge will not look favorably on a violation of a protective order.

Contact the Stowe Law Firm to Defend Against Allegations of a DVPO Violation

Even though a domestic violence protective order violation is a criminal charge, courts often forego a thorough investigation, especially if the DVPO is based on a prior charge of domestic violence.

If you have been charged with a DVPO violation, you should seek legal representation as quickly as possible. The Stowe Law Firm proudly provides aggressive criminal defense against allegations of a DVPO violation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Categories: Domestic Violence