Washington law protects those who are victims and alleged victims of domestic abuse, and for good reason. More often than not, the person who has sought the protection of such an order respects its intent. He or she does not abuse that protection by seeking to have contact with a party who has been forbidden to return the contact. They don’t contact the police unless there has been a violation of the protective order. That is the general rule. There are however exceptions.
There are personality types out there that will attempt to exploit the protective order. Instead of using it as a shield, as was intended, they wield it like a sword. These are court and police savvy individuals who understand that they have power over the party prohibited from making contact. They understand that as the protected party, one word from them to law enforcement will lead to the arrest of the other person as well as other consequences. Driven by motives of revenge, power, or just to get something they want, they abuse the power of the NCO. If you are prohibited from making contact with someone due to a court order, you must protect yourself in the event that you are dealing with this type of individual. There are some relatively simple things that you can do to protect yourself from future false allegations of violating a no-contact order.
1. Don’t Violate The No Contact Order
Granted, this one seems self-explanatory, but it’s the number one reason people end up in violation of domestic violence court orders. Don’t initiate contact, don’t respond to contact, don’t ask others how your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend is doing…This means no phone calls, emails, texts, or in person contact. Often times, the contact is not initiated by the defendant, Rather, the defendant is responding to contact that is initiated by the protected party. Remember, the NCO is a one-way street. The other party can have contact with the defendant without direct repercussions. If the defendant responds, no matter how much in good faith that response is made, he is in violation of the NCO.
2. Keep A Journal
This is probably the simplest way to keep ongoing documentation of your daily events, conversations, contacts, and whereabouts should a false claim of unwanted contact arise. If you are dealing with an unscrupulous “victim” who is intent on manufacturing evidence against you, the journal allows you to retrace your daily events and provide an alibi to the false accusations should they arise. It doesn’t have to be a detailed memoir of everything you do on a given day. it should, however, provide a timeline of your day, where you were and the people that can place you there.
3. Notify others when the protected party attempts to contact
In many, if not most, cases where an NCO is present, the protected party will at some point in time try to make contact with you. When this occurs, notify others immediately. Tell your lawyer, your friends or family. If someone else is present when the contact is attempted, get their name, phone number and address if possible as a potential witness. Your attorney can use this information to show the prosecutor and the court that the “protected” party not only doesn’t want or need the protective order but that he or she is violating the spirit of the order by trying to lure you into reciprocating the contact. Enough attempts by the protected party to try and induce you into making contact could lead the court to rescind the order.
Again, not all individuals who are protected from contact by court order will attempt to use that protection as a sword. There are enough examples where this happens however to warrant both caution and proactivity on the part of the defendant. Caution in not allowing oneself to be cajoled into violating the order and proactivity in documenting one’s compliance with the order. To further discuss ways to protect yourself or if you believe you are being falsely accused of violating an NCO, contact the domestic violence lawyers at Milios Defense. We would be glad to assist you.