Virginia No Contact Order:
What You Need to Know

Do you have a no-contact order filled against you? Scrofano Law PC can help you. Give us a call today.

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Did Someone File a No-Contact Order Against You?

Receiving a no-contact order can be a daunting experience. A no-contact order restricts communication or physical contact with another person. It can happen in cases of alleged domestic violence, harassment, or stalking.

As the recipient of a no-contact order, it is essential to understand the legal implications of Virginia’s no-contact protective orders and the consequences of violating the terms of these orders. 

In addition, it is essential to understand that you can defend yourself if someone has filed a no-contact or protective order against you in Virginia. If you do not take things seriously and follow the terms of the order, you could be charged with a criminal offense.

More importantly, you should know you have a right to retain a criminal defense attorney. Doing so may be in your best interest. The lawyer can help you navigate the process and advise you on the possible options.

Criminal defense attorney Gretchen T. Pousson of Scrofano Law, PC, has over 25 years of experience. She has helped individuals charged with every conceivable crime and represented individuals involved in protective order cases. If you feel the whole world has turned against you, Attorney Pousson has your back.

What Is a Virginia No-Contact Order?

In Virginia, no-contact provisions can be included in civil protection orders (CPOs). An individual can ask a court for a protective order if they consider they are the victim of any act involving violence or are in a reasonable fear of a sexual assault or injury. 

The individual who files the petition for a protective order is called a “petitioner,” while the person against whom the protective order is filed is called a “respondent.”

In Virginia, a protective order that involves family or household member alleged abuse is heard in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. If the case involves petitioning a protective order from a non-family member, the case will be handled by the General District Court.

A no-contact order restricts communication or physical contact between two people, the petitioner and the respondent. The list of forbidden actions can be quite long and include:

  • Phone calls
  • Texting
  • Emailing
  • Sending a letter
  • Getting within a certain distance from the petitioner

It can also include indirect contact. For example, passing a message from the respondent to the petitioner through a friend can also be forbidden.

The defendant may also be forbidden from seeing the petitioner at work, school, or home if they share a household.

In other words, no-contact means that one person can’t contact the other directly or indirectly except as the court allows. For how long? That depends on the type of the protective order.

Types of No-Contact Orders

In Virginia, there are three types of protective orders:

  • Emergency protective orders
  • Preliminary protective orders
  • Final or permanent protective orders

While emergency and preliminary protective orders are issued temporarily, a permanent protective order is issued after a court hearing with both parties present.

A judge or magistrate can issue an emergency protective order. The defendant does not have to be notified or present at that protective order hearing. After hearing the evidence of an alleged assault or battery, the judge decides whether to issue the order. The order expires at the end of the third day after it was issued or the next day court is in session.

A preliminary protection order can be issued after a preliminary hearing. At the hearing, the court will determine whether sufficient evidence supports the allegations. A preliminary protective order becomes effective when the order is “served” to the respondent. It lasts up to 15 days or until a full court hearing.

A full or final protective order can be issued after a full hearing, where both the petitioner and the respondent can present evidence and testify to what happened. Full orders last up to two years and can only be modified by the court.

Court Procedures and Hearings

If you receive a no-contact order, it is crucial to appear in court and defend yourself against the allegations. Although the situation can feel frightening, you have certain rights as a respondent.

During a hearing, the prosecutor will present evidence against you. You have the right to an attorney. However, you are not entitled to free counsel. If you retain one, your attorney can cross-examine witnesses and present evidence on your behalf. The judge will then decide whether to issue a no-contact order.

How To Defend Against No-Contact Orders

As Virginia Code § 19.2-152.8 states, the mere issuance of an emergency protective order against someone is not considered evidence of wrongdoing. In other words, just because someone petitioned for a protective order against you doesn’t necessarily mean you did something wrong.

Although protective orders can be of great assistance to domestic violence victims, false accusations are not rare. That is why it’s essential to understand the allegations against you and be familiar with the procedure involving pressing charges in Virginia domestic violence cases. Moreover, you should clearly understand the evidence presented by the prosecutor.

Your particular defense strategy can depend on the circumstances of your case. It may involve:

  • Challenging the evidence

  • Challenging the credibility of the witnesses

  • Presenting your own evidence or testimony

  • Arguing that the no-contact order is unnecessary or too restrictive

If, for instance, the no-contact order is the result of one heated argument, the petitioner may have changed their mind. Having an experienced lawyer can be very beneficial in these cases. A lawyer may be able to reach out to the complaining individual and negotiate to have a no-contact order lifted.

How Scrofano Law, PC Can Hep

As a defense attorney, Gretchen T. Pousson of Scrofano Law, PC works to understand her client’s positions and see the situation from their perspectives. If you are fighting a no-contact order, our team can gather evidence and create a strong defense.

We can also:

  • Analyze the police report

  • Confirm your alibi

  • Collect witness statements

  • Question the petitioner

  • Represent you in court

Furthermore, if you feel you have been falsely accused, we can do everything possible to achieve the best possible outcome.

Consequences of Non-Compliance With a No-Contact Order

Even if you do not agree with the terms of the order or consider them unfair, you should comply with all terms of the order. In this case, you should not contact the petitioner for any reason. If you are uncertain whether something may violate the no-contact order, you should always seek the advice of your attorney before acting. 

The consequences of violating a no-contact order can be severe. Violating the terms of a protection order can result in a Class 1 misdemeanor. The penalty for a Class 1 misdemeanor is up to one year in jail and $2,500 fine.

Don’t Face a No-Contact Order on Your Own. Call Us Today!

Receiving a no-contact order can be confusing and overwhelming. However, understanding the legal framework and having legal guidance can make a difference.

It is critical to comply with all order terms and seek legal advice if you need help. Don’t forget that violating a no-contact order can result in criminal charges and penalties. If you are facing a no-contact order, Scrofano Law, PC is here for you. 

Gretchen T. Pousson is a relentless advocate and a compassionate defense attorney. She will use her decades of experience to craft a strong defense tailored to your unique situation. 

If someone has filed a no-contact order against you, contact Scrofano Law, PC today.

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Deb Obi

Gretchen was a joy to work with because of her wittiness and fast thinking. She was actually recommended to me by another Lawyer who admired the way she handled things in a courtroom they were both in.

Her advice, encouragement, and patience with me as she handled my case was admirable. She knows her stuff and I felt confident that she was able to get the best outcome for my case based on my interactions with her. Her fast thinking and knowledge of the law and procedures allowed for my case to be dismissed. She is fast on her feet, ready to fight for you while being poised.

If you are looking for someone who is going to listen to you, knows the law, willing to fight on your behalf and is empathetic while at it, please go with Gretchen. You will not regret it.

Charles Graves

I hired Gretchen Taylor over 10 years ago, when I was very young and she successfully defended me from a false allegation.

Now I’m very successful in life, and I have to give Gretchen a ton of credit for her help! She is extremely honest, hardworking, kind, and sees the best in people. She believed in me, and she’s also a very good lawyer.

Through this process I grew up, and I learned that there are good and bad women, good and bad men, and that it’s important to be careful about who you associate with, or hang around or date, because even when you live your life with honesty and integrity, some people are simply trouble. Thanks to this, I’ve been happily married to my amazing wife for almost a decade now, and successful financially. Gretchen didn’t only win my case but she really had good wisdom for me too. She’s very knowledgeable about the law and doesn’t let the system take advantage of you.,

You won’t find a better lawyer, period!

Breck Blalock

If you are in need of an exceptional trial defense attorney, look no further than Gretchen Taylor Pousson and the ScrofanoLaw firm. In my experience, Gretchen is the consummate professional. She provided me with top-notch legal representation and extremely sound advice, delivered not only with compassion but also direct forthrightness. She worked closely with all my trial witnesses and presented a fantastic case on my behalf. The ScrofanoLaw's support staff is also excellent – any inquiry I made was handled professionally and on a timely basis. I could not be happier with my decision to hire Gretchen Taylor Pousson and the ScrofanoLaw firm in my time of legal need.

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