No Contact Orders: Intended and Unintended Consequences
Having a no contact order filed against you carries both intended and unintended consequences. The intended consequences, for purposes of this writing, are the terms written within the order itself. The unintended consequences are the secondary outcomes associated with having a no contact order filed against you, which can significantly impact various aspects of your life. It is due to these consequences that no contact orders in Washington are often highly contested.
Intended Consequences of No Contact Orders in Washington:
Intended consequences are the terms written within the order itself. In other words, they are the restrictions placed on the individual. These demands can range from not having any physical or phone contact with the victim or contact through third parties with the victim. A no contact orders can also require no contact with the victim’s children or place of employment.
In addition to the terms of the order, there are also other unintended, secondary consequences associated with having a no contact order issued against you. As discussed above, a no contact order may require a party to stay away from the “victim’s” employer. Although complying with such an order would normally not be too difficult, the stakes are considerably higher when both parties share a workplace. In such a scenario, compliance may require the party to seek new employment in order to avoid violating the no contact order.It may not be sufficient for the parties to simply not communicate with each other in the workplace. Some employers may also have clauses in their employment contracts that prohibit domestic violence or having no contact orders or restraining orders filed against its employees.
In some instances, a no contact order may require a person to stay a certain distance away from the victim. This can be especially burdensome in a higher education setting where the two parties may share courses or have classrooms in close proximity with one another. This could result in being required to waste thousands of dollars to drop a course or even be required to leave school, resulting in a loss of tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, if the person is no longer a student, or the parties share a residence as roommates or significant others they may also be required to find new housing as well.
Consequences of violating a No Contact Orders in Washington:
Violating a no contact order is a criminal offense. Arrests are mandatory under a few different scenarios. These scenarios include: (1) “violating the restraint from causing or threatening harm” and (2) “entering a residence, workplace or school, the school or daycare of children, or other areas the court has ordered the Respondent to vacate or stay away from.”In addition to being charged with contempt of court, violating the no contact order in either of these two ways could result in being charged with up to a class C felony. For violations other than the two listed above, a charge for contempt of court is also possible.
If you need help filing or contesting a no contact order, don’t wait until it is too late! Contact the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer at (360) 334-6277 today so that we may assist you!