If a spouse, partner, girlfriend/boyfriend, or even just a casual date has accused you of domestic abuse in the La Vergne, Tennessee area, there is a good chance that the court will issue a no contact order during your first appearance in court. If you are unfamiliar with how a no contact order works, it is in your best interest to consult with a La Vergne domestic abuse lawyer right away to ensure that you do not violate the court’s order which could land you right back in jail.
Protective Order, Restraining Order, or No Contact Order – What Is the Difference?
Different states use different names for these orders; however, substantively they accomplish the same thing – they order one person to stay away from another person. The primary difference is that, as a general rule, a protective order or restraining order is a civil order whereas a no contact order stems from a criminal case.
Who Issues a No Contact Order?
An individual can go in and request a protective order be issued based on allegations of abuse or threats of abuse. Most people are familiar with this path to a protective order; however, what people often do not realize is that a judge can – and almost always does – enter a no contact order if a defendant has been charged with domestic assault even if no one asked for the no contact order. The rationale behind issuing these orders is rather simple. Over the last couple of decades, a monumental effort has gone into educating both the courts and the public about the subject of domestic abuse. Specifically, those efforts have focused on the threat that an abuser is to the victim and how the cycle of violence often results in the victim covering up for the abuser or being too afraid of repercussions to tell the truth about the abuse. The solution has been for courts to issue a no contact order without regard to what the alleged victim supposedly wants. In situations where a true victim is being threatened or coerced into remaining silent on the issue of protection, having a court issue a protective order anyway can potentially save a life. The problem is that not all defendants who have been accused of domestic assault are actually guilty.
Can’t My Spouse/Significant Other Just Tell the Judge to Lift the No Contact Order?
Unfortunately, it is not that simple. First, it is the State of Tennessee, not the alleged victim, that makes the decisions to pursue criminal charges against you. Second, it is the judge, not your spouse/significant other who decided to issue the no contact order. Consequently, getting a no contact order lifted is not as simple as it may sound. The court must be convinced that the alleged victim is not being pressured, coerced, threatened into requesting that the order be lifted. When a judge has to decide between erring on the side or caution, or potentially erring on the side of being responsible for a victim being assaulted again, the judge is going to err on the side of caution 100 percent of the time.
How Can a La Vergne Domestic Abuse Lawyer Help?
If you believe that the alleged victim wants the no contact order lifted, you need an experienced La Vergne domestic abuse lawyer to request a hearing in front of the judge. At the hearing, your attorney can present evidence and testimony that the court needs to hear before even considering a modification, or termination, of the no contact order. In the meantime, the worst thing you can do for yourself and your future is to violate the existing no contact order.
If you have been issued to stay away from a spouse or partner as a result of a court issued no contact order in the State of Tennessee, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced La Vergne domestic abuse lawyer at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.