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How Serious Is a No Contact Order Violation?

by Feb 14, 2023Assault / Domestic Assault, Cassandra Bautista, Criminal Defense Attorney

No contact orders can come about in many ways, but the sad truth is that some of the allegations that lead to no contact orders are false. By being granted a no contact order, the accuser may be making life difficult on the accused as a revenge tactic or so that they can get their way. When a couple breaks up or family members have a falling out, there is almost always a need to remain in communication, at least in the short term. Our Minnesota criminal defense attorneys often see that this causes issues for clients who have been named in a no contact order, even if the order is valid. They may have issues recovering their property or splitting up finances if they are unable to speak with their ex or estranged family member.

In desperation, some defendants feel they are forced to violate their no contact order. A violation of such an order is considered a crime, but how severe are the consequences for violating a no contact order?

Why No Contact Orders Are Violated

Every situation is different, but when our Minnesota domestic violence lawyers talk to defendants about their circumstances, we find that many ended up breaking their no contact order for similar reasons. One of the most common reasons is actually that the accuser who sought a no contact order has had a change of heart and wants to be in contact with the defendant. Even in a situation where neither party wants the order to be upheld, you must go through the proper legal channels. If you are found to have broken your no contact order, you can still be subject to a criminal charge.

Another common reason why a domestic abuse no contact order (DANCO) may be violated is because it was unfounded due to false accusations. Many defendants are understandably upset when a judge grants a no contact order because of something they didn’t do. It is tempting to contact the accuser to try to convince them that they should fess up and have the order lifted. Of course, this is also unadvisable because of the possibility of ending up with a criminal charge for a no contact violation.

Punishment for a No Contact Order Violation

In Minnesota, domestic abuse crimes are taken very seriously. If a domestic abuse no contact order has been granted, the courts do not take a violation of that order lightly. If you violate the order you will be charged with a misdemeanor. However, there are some circumstances that will increase the severity of your charges. If you are found to have violated the order within 10 years of a domestic-violence related conviction, your charges will be upgraded to a gross misdemeanor. This comes with a minimum of ten days’ imprisonment and mandatory counseling or other programs.

The most serious repercussion of violating a no contact order is being charged with a felony. This occurs when the defendant has had two previous domestic-violence related convictions in the past 10 years, or if they violate the order while in possession of a dangerous weapon. This conviction comes with a minimum of 30 days in jail, and a possible lengthy term in prison, although given the circumstances it is very likely that the defendant will be charged with additional crimes. 

Criminal Defense Lawyers in MN

Whether you want to fight back against an unnecessary domestic abuse no contact order, or you’ve violated a DANCO against you and need to defend your case, contact Sieben Edmunds Miller for assistance. Our Minneapolis criminal defense attorneys and St.Paul criminal defense attorneys will help you gather your evidence and prepare to plead your case to a judge. Contact Sieben Edmunds Miller at (651) 994-6744 to start working on your case.

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