There are a number of different types of “no-contact” orders, some issued in the civil context, some in a criminal proceeding. Some of the most common orders include:
- “Anti-Harassment” orders (See RCW 10.14.040, RCW 10.14.080).
- Domestic Violence protection orders (either filed through the civil process by the alleged victim (See RCW 26.50.060, RCW 26.50.070, RCW 26.52.070), or attached to domestic violence charges in the pre-trial or post-sentencing phase (See RCW 10.99.040, RCW 10.99.050).
- Restraining orders associated with a pending dissolution (divorce) or child custody matter, especially with allegations of abuse or assault against the spouse/ex-spouse/child – See RCW 26.09.300, RCW 26.10.220, RCW 26.26.138, RCW 26.44.063, RCW 26.44.150).
- Sexual assault protection orders (See RCW 7.90.130 RCW 7.90.090).
- Orders to protect vulnerable adults (See RCW 74.34.145).
- Orders of “No contact” or “No hostile contact” can be imposed as a condition of pretrial release or sentence for a criminal charge.
This firm has worked with all of these types of orders, representing defendants, respondents, or petitioners. If you find yourself responding to a petition for any of these orders, or if you are accused of violating any of these orders, it's critical that you obtain the services of a no-contact order lawyer or a protection order attorney. Please feel free to call our office to see if we can assist you.
If you are planning to file a request for one of these orders for yourself or a child or dependent adult, it is very helpful to have legal counsel to help you, particularly if the other person has their own attorney. If you have already filed one of these orders and you would like assistance or advice, give us a call to see if we can help you.
Contact with the alleged victim (or “petitioner”) in these circumstances would lead to a criminal charge in most instances, or a finding of civil contempt in others. If the order is a pre-trial condition of release on another matter, and the court finds that the contact violated the no contact order, the court could choose to hold you in custody while your case is pending. The alleged “contact” can include text messages, online contact, telephone calls, emails, contact through a third party (relaying messages from a defendant), or in-person contact. If the contact is determined to be an “assault” – it can lead to a felony charge for a felony violation of a no contact order. It's important to have an attorney familiar with the laws in this area to combat the assumptions and prejudice that come from the filing of requests for no-contact orders, or the allegations that these orders have been violated.
Many people mistakenly believe that the contact does not constitute a violation if it is “invited” by the alleged victim. This is not the case. Be very careful about any contact from the “alleged victim.” If the alleged “victim” contacts a defendant, invites them to talk, visit, etc., and the defendant does not immediately discontinue the communication, the defendant can face criminal charges.