It is important for somebody to understand and to ask questions about it on the day that the protective order is issued because they do not get a second chance on it. The violation is a strict liability so an individual either obeys or disobeys the order. It does not matter that it was their intention to violate it or not.
Under the statute, the way that Virginia interprets it, it is just a violation itself that is enough to get an individual convicted of a violation of a protective order. If someone thinks they have violated a Virginia protective order, it is important to contact an attorney immediately.
If somebody has violated a protective order, they should call the police right away and let the police deal with it. They will bring a charge against the person and they will most likely go arrest the other person and process them through. But certainly, an individual needs to bring the police into it and that is the way that they do it.
An individual should also keep records of any contacts that happened, keep the text messages, and keep some call logs in that. If somebody is calling him or her repeatedly, maybe record it if an individual has, certainly, their permission to record.
Somebody who violates a protective order in Virginia is going to be found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor of protective order violation. That is the most serious type of misdemeanor in the state of Virginia, which carries up to 12 months in jail, up to a $2,500-fine, and it is a separate criminal offense.
If it is a situation where somebody has an active protective order for something and they violate it, they are convicted of violating it. If they violate that same order again within five years of the first conviction, there is a mandatory minimum 60 days in jail that attaches to that.
If it is the third violation basically within 20 years, if an individual has three protective order violations within 20 years and either it was based on the same protective order or one of them was based on an act or threat of violence, then it is going to be a felony charge and there is a mandatory minimum of six months confinement for that. It is serious if an individual violates it and they will need the support of an attorney.
If the defendant committed a crime while violating the order, it depends on the type of crime. If they were armed, when they violated the protective order, that is going to be a felony charge. If they committed assault and battery or there a violation with a commission of assault and battery, then they are going to be found guilty of a felony.
Additionally, breaking into somebody’s home would be like a breaking and entering charge plus the violation of a protective order. An individual would be facing a felony and certainly another felony.
Violating a protective order in Virginia is extremely serious. If found guilty, there can expensive fines and possible jail time. Please contact a Virginia domestic violence lawyer immediately if someone has violated a protective order to best know what to expect and how to move forward.