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What constitutes a restraining order violation?

A restraining order or protective order is established by a court in order to prevent violence or other harm occurring against one or both parties. The terms contained within the order will depend on the specifics of the situation and the request of the protected party. If you happen to violate the order, you can expect to face considerable legal trouble and the potential of jail time.

You might wonder what exactly constitutes a restraining order violation. There are a variety of answers, but generally, you should avoid any of the following three actions. Failure to do so could result in a violation of the order and the legal consequences that will follow.

Contacting via social media

Many people are under the impression that contacting a person via social media does not really “count.” On the contrary, this is typically a very real violation of the order’s terms. According to Newsweek, even doing so little as following a social media profile can be a violation. It is best to stay as far away from the other party’s online presence as you would from her or his physical presence.

Crossing the indicated boundaries

Most restraining orders also include provisions prohibiting any proximity between the parties within a certain distance. This is to keep a harmful person away from a would-be victim. Unfortunately, these portions of protective orders can be unknowingly violated. If you park your car within the specified distance or if you randomly enter the same store, you could find yourself in violation.

Acting threateningly or violently

It should go without saying that to act violently or aggressively is a violation of any restraining order. One person’s definition of these words may differ from another’s, though. It is important to remember that your idea of aggression is not the one which the courts consider. You can be charged with violating a restraining order if you act violently per the other party’s definition.

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