A no-contact order may be issued in domestic violence or assault cases in order to protect the safety of a victim or victims. If a defendant is found to be in violation of a current no-contact order, he or she may be arrested, even if the victim initiated the contact. If the victim and defendant want the order dropped, the proper court procedure must be followed in order to prevent further legal trouble for the defendant.
Examine your motives. Are you sure that you're ready to resume contact? If you're the victim, do you want contact because you truly believe that you will be safe, or would you be better off waiting? If there is a history of violence, it is very dangerous to jump back into a relationship too soon.
Contact the court if you're representing yourself, otherwise contact your attorney. A hearing may be required to determine if it's appropriate to remove the no-contact clause. The judge may demand evidence that it will be safe, such as a recommendation from a domestic violence counselor.
Speak with your court advocate or other court personnel about lifting the order if you are the victim. It is highly recommended that you seek counseling in order to process your relationship and understand the cycle of abuse.
Attend the no-contact revision hearing. Both the defendant and victim may be required to attend the hearing. If the judge determines that it is safe to lift the order, a revision will be signed and entered into the computerized criminal justice system.
Carry a signed copy of the no-contact revision with you, just in case you are stopped by police and the computer does not yet reflect the modification.
- If you resume contact too soon and another assault occurs, the defendant may face additional charges, and the victim may incur additional emotional and physical damage. The possibility of another assault exists, even with counseling, because the pattern may be ingrained. Always tell the truth when the court asks about the history of abuse and do not minimize it --- your answers may come back to haunt you in case you later proceed with a divorce.
- Violent behavior is often the result of growing up in an abusive environment, and it is not easy to "switch off."
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