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DC Protection Order Violation Arrests

Not all protection order violations result in an arrest. A violation of a protection order typically leads to a motion for a “Show Cause Hearing” where the respondent comes to court to advocate for why they should not be sanctioned. Violating a protection order does not necessarily result in an arrest unless it constitutes a crime. For help with understanding DC protection order violation arrests and how a lawyer could help you, it is advisable to speak with a seasoned protection order violation attorney.

Petitioner Violations

If a protection order includes a mutual stay-away, then a petitioner could violate it. This is unusual, but it does happen. For example, it is not a legal justification for a petitioner to ask a respondent to come over because a protection order must be followed. That being said, the courts usually consider the circumstances of the situation and do not sanction the respondent if they answer to the wisher of the petitioner.

If a person is arrested for violating a protective order, they should reach out to an attorney immediately. A well-versed lawyer could protect the person’s rights and advocate on their behalf.

Violations That Do Not Result in Arrest

A violation that does not constitute a crime would not lead to an arrest. A criminal contempt citation must be issued in order for there to be a DC protection order violation arrest. The authorities would investigate when an arrest warrant was issued, which requires a fairly extensive procedure.

If a police officer sees a violation of a protection order at the time that it is occurring, they may only make an arrest if it constitutes a crime. For example, if there was a protection order which required a respondent to stay 50 feet away from a petitioner, and the police saw the respondent hitting the petitioner, they could arrest the respondent for assault but not for violating the stay-away order, unless there already was an arrest warrant for contempt.

Liability for Violating a Protection Order

The standard for protection order violations is that there is no room for any defense or excuse for an alleged violation. DC protection order violation arrests depend on its terms and conditions. Additionally, if a person is supposed to stay away or keep a certain distance from a petitioner and does not notice them nearby in a public place, they could have a viable defense against alleged violations.

Police need enough proof to get a warrant in order to arrest a respondent, which would require probable cause that criminal contempt occurred. Although, this does not necessarily mean that there would be proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which would be required for a conviction on criminal contempt. To get an arrest warrant, there needs to be probable cause.

Specifications on Permitted Contact

What constitutes a breach of a protective order would depend on its parameters. Contact which falls outside of an order’s specifications could be in violation. For example, if contact is allowed on the basis of childcare, any communication which falls outside of that could result in a DC protection order violation arrest.

Challenging DC Protection Order Violation Arrests in Court

If a warrant was issued for criminal contempt, a respondent would be arrested and charged with contempt for an alleged violation of a civil protection order. There may be a trial where allegations would need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Fortunately, experienced legal counsel could offer more information about DC protection order violation arrests and what to expect from the litigation that follows.

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