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What Are the Consequences for Violating an Order of Protection in Tennessee?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Blount County criminal charges defenses attorney

Orders of protection, more commonly known as restraining orders, are meant to provide safety for victims of domestic violence or abuse, and they are not taken lightly. Although a restraining order may just look like a piece of paper, those who violate these orders will face serious legal consequences, and alleged offenders should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. The best way to avoid these harsh consequences is to understand what may be included in a Tennessee order of protection.

Who Qualifies for an Order of Protection?

As is true of any legal process, an individual filing for an order of protection must have a valid reason for doing so. Those who simply dislike another person and wish to avoid them do not have a valid stance for a restraining order. Tennessee allows victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking to apply for an order of protection. Those who claim to be victims of domestic abuse must have a familial, romantic, or residential relationship with the alleged perpetrator. This is not a requirement for those who have been victims of sexual abuse or stalking.

What Does an Order of Protection Prohibit?

There is a laundry list of restrictions that an order of protection can place on another person; however, if you are faced with such an order, you will be informed of the legal specifics. These can include the following:

  • Forbidding the offender from calling, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the alleged victim, either directly or indirectly

  • Forbidding the perpetrator from stalking the alleged victim

  • Granting the requestor custody of his or her children

  • Ordering the offender to pay child and/or spousal support

  • Giving the requesting party sole possession of his or her residence (forcing the offender to move out and allowing the requestor to remain in the home) or requiring the offender to provide a substitute dwelling for the requestor

  • Forcing the offender to pay for the price of the court proceedings

  • Ordering the abuser to attend counseling sessions that address substance abuse problems or violent behavior

  • Taking away the perpetrator’s right to possess, own, or buy firearms

  • Awarding the requestor custody, care, and control of a pet

  • Requiring the perpetrator to do anything else requested if a judge agrees to the terms

What Are the Consequences if I Violate a Restraining Order?

There are various actions that can be taken against anyone who violates an order of protection. The consequences depend on the specifics of the order and the severity of the situation. In Tennessee, violating an order of protection is classified as a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Law enforcement can immediately arrest anyone who is in violation of an order of protection. Further actions include civil and criminal contempt, a 5- to 10-year extension of the order, aggravated assault charges, and charges of unlawful possession of a firearm. 

Call a Knoxville, TN Criminal Defense Attorney 

Anyone who violates an order of protection could face high fines and possible jail time. For some, the violation may have been accidental, while others may not have been properly informed of the details of the order. Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, has experience working with those who have been charged with violations of orders of protection, whether the alleged violation occurred intentionally or accidentally. Regardless of your intentions, you will need a strong defense team on your side to help avoid financial penalties and time spent behind bars. If you have been charged with violation of an order of protection, contact our Knox County criminal defense lawyer at 865-281-1000 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:
https://police.vanderbilt.edu/services/vicservices/ordersprotect.php
waller-basics_of_orders_of_protection_-2-25-2015.pptx from http://www.tncourts.gov

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