FAQs: Domestic Abuse Under New Mexico Family Violence Protection Act
Can I go to Jail if I Violate a Restraining Order?
Violation of an order protection has serious consequences and therefore should be treated very seriously. If you find yourself in this situation, it is advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Violation of an Order of Protection Has Many Possible Paths to Jail
Serious or repeated violations can lead to serious consequences including adtitional criminal charges and jail time.
A violation has a number of possible consequences leading to jail. First, a violation can result in a finding of contempt, which carries jail time. Violations can also result in criminal charges. In fact, serious or repeated violations can even result in felony charges.
In addition to possible jail time, a violation of an order of protection can impact your visitation with your children, gun ownership rights, your employment, and your immigration rights.
Order of Protection and Child Custody
It is particularly important to understand the rules and consequences of a violation when children are involved.
It is very important that you understand your rights if someone has filed a Petition for an Order of Protection against you. If you have children and there is an order of protection against you, special provisions will have to be put in place so you can see your children.
In situations where there are children involved, you need to be well informed as to what you can and cannot do, as it may impact your visits with your children, and you may be ordered to conduct your children’s exchanges in a public place or at a location that supervises the exchanges of the children.
In more extreme cases, the Order of Protection may also be extended for the benefit and protection of your children. In such a situation, you may not be able to see your children, unless there is a special provision that allows you to see your children under specific circumstances.
Many Ways to Violate an Order of Protection
Even seemingly innocent violations can have consequences. If in doubt, err on the side of caution.
There are many ways that an Order of Protection can be violated. For example, making unwanted telephone calls, showing up at the protected person’s home or work, or making threats will lead to a violation that may result in a contempt of court charge.
If the violation is more extreme, such as physical harm, destruction of property or stalking, your chance of ending up in jail is more certain.
Violations can even be seemingly innocent and inadvertent yet still carry possible serious consequences. For instance, even welcomed contact with the alleged victim can result in a violation.
It is highly advisable that you be very cautious. The consequences can be devastating.
Seek Legal Counsel
It is important that you know your rights when someone has filed a Petition for an Order of Protection against you. These restraining orders are easy to violate and can have lasting impacts on your life, so it is very important that you have an attorney to counsel you as to what you can and cannot do.
Due to the potentially severe consequences and numerable consequences, it is important to take the order of protection very seriously. It is highly advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced domestic violence attorney.