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Criminal defense attorneys. We spend a lot of time talking with our clients about no no contact orders. What are they why are they an issue.
What can you do them. And i want to talk a little bit about that today no contact order is a formal order entered by a criminal law judge. Generally at an arraignment at the initial stages of a criminal case.
Where somebody is formally told about the case prohibiting somebody from either having contact with a person. A witness or a location and or staying a certain distance away from that person witness or location in general. That is what a no contact order is and they are sacrosanct.
They are sacred in the criminal law system and from a criminal defense attorney. Their sacred because its a judges personal decision. His order telling our client to behave in a certain way and violations of no contact order aside from bringing a new criminal charge and a basis of putting somebody back in jail.
Because they wont abide by the judges advice or the judges order in this case. It indicates a lack of respect for the system and a lack of respect to the judge and those judges are people and they attempt to be objective.
Its hard for them to not get a little bit subjective and taken a little personal when somebody wont listen to them so it becomes really important that no contact orders are abided by and its also is really important that as defense attorneys. We anticipate what theyre going to what impact theyre going to have in our clients lives. So for example.
Here some common issues that happens. A judge enters a no contact order up for a victim and somebody has to stay five hundred feet away from them. And that victim happens to go to the same colleges as our client and so they may not share common class.
But my client is certainly terrified about violating the no contact order. Which happens to have a five hundred foot restriction that wasnt addressed initially at an arraignment because we werent there and we hadnt talked to our client in advance. We deal with issues where that no contact order prohibits somebody from talking to their spouse and the spouse wants to or and that two people believe that they want to work through a criminal charge or an event.
An isolated incident. Where the police were called in that case has been started. But they want to work through it with counseling or they want to work through it through other means and the judges order prevents that from happening or two people dont want to work through it.
But they have children in common. How do they exchange children.
When theres a prohibition of contact and a distance restriction from the house 500 feet. How do they make arrangements to exchange children. These are very real issues.
These are very these are situations. We have dealt with repeatedly in the past for our clients and so you can see how a no contact order could start having impact on somebodys life. Its important to with that in mind to anticipate that a no contact order will be entered and take steps to craft a solution that is sensible and rational and supported to present to a judge as a counter argument to what a prosecuting attorney will say.
Which is as general as a policy. We need a no contact order involving any victim or any witness involved in the case and we need a distance restriction. We dont really care about the details and so becomes the burden of the criminal defense attorney to of taking the time to talk to their client.
Understand intimately whats going on anticipate the possibility of one of these and propose solutions to a judge that are sensible. These are things that are as generality. Its really good to get in early on in a no contact order while theyre being issued and address these issues they can be addressed in hindsight.
They can be addressed later on the case. But youre sort of fighting uphill youre trying to change.
Something thats already been ordered and so changing something thats already been ordered and from my from my perspective. Kind of set in stone a bit becomes more difficult then when things are loose and a judges open to argument. And suggestion.
Its important to realize that if you violate these no contact orders. Even with the best of intentions that it gives an enormous amount of power to the other person who youre violating it with even if its done in secret. We have had cases were people believe that theyre going to work through a disagreement.
Two people are married 20 years. They think theyre going to work through a disagreement. First time theres ever been a criminal event.
And my client thinks things will work through and starts contacting. The other party and things dont end up working through. I have had situations where the other party ends up reporting them as in violation of the no contact order.
Ive had it become a factor in family law cases. Ive had family law lawyers bring up that they will do this reporting and though. This is sort of the dirty underbelly of no contact orders.
Its another reason why people who have a lot of experience and wisdom and have dealt with thousands of criminal law cases should be kind of giving you direction that you listen to as you navigate these kinds of waters. .
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