No Contact Order vs. Restraining Order

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  • 0:04 No Contact vs.…
  • 2:39 Some Examples
  • 3:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jessica Mercado

I completed my BA in Criminal Justice in 2015. Currently working on my MS in Homeland Security Management.

This lesson provides information on how a no contract order differs from a restraining order. Similarities are provided in order to compliment the differences. Examples on the different orders are also covered in this lesson.

No Contact vs. Restraining Order

Let's say that you're about to be going through divorce proceedings. You know that in order to prevent violations of the divorce proceedings, a protective order probably should be filed, especially since your soon to be ex-spouse has made some angry threats toward you.

You know there are different types of protective orders, but you aren't quite sure which one would deal with your case. You head to your lawyer to find out.

You arrive at your lawyer's office and explain that you want a protective order, but you don't know if it should be a no contact order or a restraining order. Your lawyer begins by telling you that, while both orders provide legal protection and must be removed by a judge, each have different situations to which they are designated.

You lawyer begins by explaining the basis of a no contact order. A no contact order is found in criminal court proceedings rather than civil court cases. This means there are typically charges already being filed or pending. The no contact order doesn't include communication via phone call, email, mail, texts, or other forms of communication that do not involve being face to face. The order is filed by the judge, prosecution, or law enforcement official and does not cost anything to the victim. The order can also last as long as needed and can be a condition in sentencing. If the defendant violates the no contact order, whether consensual or not, the defendant could face jail time until the case is resolved.

As you listen to the lawyer, you realize that the no contact order may not be the right choice in your case. You ask the lawyer to explain the restraining order. A restraining order is for civil cases; criminal charges aren't typically involved. Restraining orders are used for protecting the party who filed it from physical, emotional, or material harm. Some states require restraining orders to be put in place if divorce papers are filed. Restraining orders include fees that are paid by the party who filed. They can also be tailored to fit the needs of the situation. If the restraining order is violated, the violator could face a misdemeanor charge, community service, fines or fees, or jail time. This varies with the situation, if an additional crime was committed, and in which state they are located.

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