5 Ways you may Unwittingly Violate a Protective Order

If you’ve become the subject of a protective order, it is absolutely essential that you fully understand and abide by the rules set out within the order. Violating a protective order can carry heavy sentences, and it may be easier than you think. Here are some important things to watch out for if you’re now involved in a protective order:

  • Communicating with someone in the petitioner’s household or family

It’s recommended to avoid speaking with people close to the petitioner if at all possible. If your communication could be considered aggressive or harassing, they can use your communication to make a case that you violated the protective order. This includes if the petitioner were to try and contact you first; even if they want to talk to you, you are not allowed to respond to them.

  • Communicating through someone else to the petitioner, or their family

Communicating through a third party does not eliminate the restrictions of the order. Similar restrictions apply as with communicating to them directly. If your actions could be seen as harassment or aggressive, the petitioner can make a case that you violated the protective order.

  • Possessing a firearm

Anyone served a protective order cannot be in possession of a firearm, regardless of whether or not they have a license. This is important to keep in mind, as regardless of what license you have, you are no longer allowed to possess a firearm. This is a standard rule in protective orders, so remember to separate yourself from your firearms.

  • Contact with the petitioner’s pets

Any action which is seen as interfering with the care or wellbeing of the petitioner’s pets is considered an aggressive act, violating your order. You may have already been ordered to separate from the home where the pets reside, so going there may pose further issues.

  • Knowingly going to certain areas

In this case, you are not breaking your protective order if you were to find yourself in the same area as the petitioner, as long as you did not knowingly go there to see them. For example, if you were grocery shopping and the petitioner was also shopping at the same store, as long as you did not go to the store with the intent of seeing them, you are not violating your protective order. If the argument is made that you did intentionally meet them, they must prove that you did so knowingly. However, if it is clear that you intentionally went to an area that was disallowed in the order, or made contact with the petitioner, you are in violation of your protection order.

Get help with your protection order

If you’ve been served a protection order, Attorney Charles A. Banker, III has the decades of experience necessary to guide you through the legal process. Defend yourself and ensure you have the representation you need by giving us a call today at (713) 227-4100 to schedule a free consultation.

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The Law Offices of Charles A. Banker, III

Our firm’s founder, Charles A. Banker III, has been a solo criminal defense practitioner with offices in Houston and McAllen, TX for over 30 years. He understands what it means to work independently in today’s hyperconnected world, but he also knows that sometimes you need to lean on others.

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