The Evergreen State has been a real trailblazer in protecting people from abuse, violence, stalking, and other threatening behaviors. This nifty legal tool, known as Civil Protection Order in Washington, swiftly protects against those who cause harm.
Remember, respecting a protection order isn’t a crime, but breaking its terms is. If accused of violating one in Washington State, act fast! Reach a skilled defense attorney to boost the chance of dismissal.
The prosecution must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt: a valid order existed, the offender received notice, and a prohibited contact occurred. The prosecution is responsible for providing evidence to support their case.
To best protect rights and interests, enlist the expertise of a trusted and established attorney. Need help dealing with a violated protection/restraining order in Washington? Contact us, and we’ll handle this together.
Understanding Protection Order Violations
Breaking the rules is never a good idea, especially regarding Protection Orders in Washington. Protection Orders aim to shield people from harm and harassment; breaking them can bring harsh consequences. Let’s dive into what happens when individuals find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
In a hypothetical scenario: someone gets a Protection Order against another party, and the respondent is made aware of it. This Protection Order may have specific provisions, like:
- Prohibiting any violent acts or threats against the protected person.
- Forbidding ANY contact with the protected person.
- Keeping individuals away from particular locations.
The no-no’s usually involve things like threatening violence and stalking the protected person. It includes staying away from places like a residence, workplace, school, or even a daycare. It might also include details about not interfering with the protected person’s efforts to remove a pet. Yes, they’ve got the pets covered too.
Going against any of these provisions will land someone in hot water. If a law enforcement officer has a hunch someone has broken a Protection Order, they can arrest the person without waiting for a warrant.
Violated Protection Order in Washington: First and Second Violations
For a first conviction of violating a Protection Order, the court usually considers it a gross misdemeanor. Yep, not something people want on their records! Individuals could face the following:
- Up to a year in jail
- Fines of up to $5,000
Now, the judge has some leeway in deciding the punishment—it could be either incarceration, fines, or both. Additionally, they might require individuals to be electronically monitored for a specific period as part of their sentence or to attend specific domestic violence or anger management classes.
Oh, and here’s something to remember—the respondent who violated the Protection Order will likely have to cover the costs of electronic monitoring or any required classes they must attend. Yep, it’s an additional burden on top of the other penalties faced.
If an individual makes the same mistake twice, a second violation of a Protection Order, the penalties may not be any less severe than the first time, so one must avoid falling into the same trap again.
To make things even more complicated, the severity of the penalties can vary in all cases. For example, if someone dares to ignore a Protection Order and assaults another party (which means they physically harm or make them afraid for their safety), it could be considered a class C felony, which is a big deal.
And if an individual has a history of repeatedly violating Protection Orders, the court won’t be too forgiving. With previous convictions, individuals might face a class C felony again, but the consequences could be even harsher this time.
Penalties for the offense may consist of the following:
- Imprisonment for up to five years
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Community supervision
- Community service
Court Requirements After a Protection Order Violation
After someone gets caught violating a Protection Order, they must appear before a Judge. The Judge will then decide if the violating party (defendant) should have conditions in place to ensure compliance with the Protection Order and attendance to future Court hearings while they wait for their trial. These conditions can include the violating party to pay bail, be electronically monitored, and/or refraining from any alcohol or non-prescription drug use.
Remember, appearances in court for these matters are mandatory, and skipping this obligation is prohibited. If a person finds themselves in such a sticky situation, it’s advisable not to ignore it.
How To Protect Against a Violated Protection Order in Washington?
Breaking a Protection Order in Washington brings severe trouble. Respect boundaries and rules to avoid legal headaches. If accused of a violation of a Protection Order in Washington, contact us immediately. Convictions can result in significant penalties.
Defense strategies include proving unawareness or unintended violation. During the consultation, our team assesses the situation and recommends the best defense strategies for representation. Schedule a defense consultation with Betancourt Law attorneys at (509) 317-8184.