The Consequences of Violating an Order of Protection in Greenville, SC

Judges take domestic violence seriously, and frequently issue orders of protection to keep victims safe. These orders generally prohibit the offending party from contacting the victim. They also usually include other terms such as the custody of children and possession of the domestic residence. Not all recipients of these orders take them seriously. But violating an order of protection can have disastrous consequences for you, personally, and any pending family law matter.

The basics of orders of protection in Greenville, SC

Spouses, former spouses, and co-parents may allege domestic violence against each other. They are permitted to ask a judge to issue a restraining order known as an order of protection. These orders may also protect cohabitants or former cohabitants who had a romantic relationship.

Orders of protection will have substantial effects on the liberty of the offending party. For instance, the offending party cannot communicate or attempt to communicate with the alleged victim. They may also not visit the residence or workplace of the alleged victim. Other places may be off-limits as well if the judge believes there is a threat of violence. The order may also:

  • Set temporary custody and visitation rules for any children the two parties have together
  • Grant temporary and exclusive use of the domestic residence to the victim
  • Limit the use or disposition of any real or personal property owned by the parties
  • Require the offending party to pay the alleged victim’s attorney’s fees for obtaining the order

A Greenville, SC family law attorney can explain the terms of an order if one has been issued against you.

What happens if I violate an order of protection?

Courts in Greenville, SC typically handle violations in one of two ways: civil contempt or criminal charges.

For instance, you may have been ordered to hand over the keys to the house to the alleged victim. You failed to do so. The victim could bring you to court to allege civil contempt. The judge may then decide how to punish you. You might only receive a warning, or you could be sent to jail. What happens will generally depend on the severity of the violation.

You could also be charged with a crime. This may land you in jail and/or result in fines. Jail time could be up to 30 days in some cases. But more serious violations may result in longer jail sentences. For example, if you appear at a domestic violence shelter where the victim is staying, you face three years imprisonment. If your violation included the use of a dangerous weapon, you may see five years in jail.

Impact on your family law matter

Domestic violence allegations often show up in connection with other family law matters, like custody or divorce. A violation of an order of protection will have serious repercussions for your case. It may be considerably more difficult, for example, to obtain favorable custody or visitation rights. The fact is, orders of protection are taken seriously by the family law and criminal courts. You do not want to be accused of violating one.

We Can Help Defend Your Rights In Family Court

Are you involved in a family law matter where domestic violence allegations have been made? Has an order of protection been issued against you? Give Greenville Family Law a call. We understand the law surrounding this matter and how to defend your rights in court. We also know what it takes to protect your interests in your family law case. Reach out to us today.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit