If you have been arrested and charged with a Domestic Violence Offense, it is important that vigorously defend yourself. Idaho's domestic violence laws can be complex and severe. You need to understand the charges against you and what your legal rights are.
What is a No Contact Order?
A "No Contact Order" is put in place when someone is charged with a crime, it prevents the Defendant from having contact with any of the alleged victims of the crime and/or others depending on the relationship to the defendant and the Courts assessed risk.
Most people are familiar with this process. I get many calls every day asking about NCOs. If no crime has been charged than an NCO can not be put in place - a protection order put in place without a crime is called a "Civil Protection Order."
What is a Civil Protection Order?
A civil protection order is issued to prevent one individual from contacting another. This means any form of contact including using a 3rd party as an intermediary. This may also require that the "respondent" remain a certain distance from the protected person, their home, their work, or other locations. Any violation of this order is a misdemeanor and will result in a criminal prosecution.
This is not a "No Contact Order" but it essentially boils down to the same thing.
Petition For A Civil Protection Order
Under Idaho Code §18-7907, anyone may file a "petition" (request) for a civil protection order in instances of domestic violence or where they feel in danger, harassed, or stalked. The petitioner must be, or have been, in a domestic relationship with the person they are seeking to be protected from. The petition outlines the reasons for the request and asks the court to enter the protection order for a set period of time.
Upon filing the petition a temporary protection order is put in place by the court. This grants the request of the petitioner until a hearing can be held on the matter. A copy of this petition must be served to the "respondent" - typically this is done by a police officer.
Hearing On A Civil Protection Order
After the respondent is served with the petition, they have the legal right to a hearing on the matter within 14 days of service. At the hearing the issue to be determined is whether the temporary protection order should be extended for up to one year. The respondent can choose to either fight the protection order or allow it to be put in place. If the respondent chooses to fight the protection order the petitioner (person seeking the protection) is responsible for proving that the protection order is necessary "by a preponderance of the evidence" (more likely than not...51%).
The petitioner will try to prove their case by putting on evidence (witnesses, documents, etc.) and then the respondent will have the opportunity to put on evidence as to why the protection order should not be granted. In the end, the judge decides whether to grant the requested relief or deny the petition.
For more information, START HERE. This is the Civil Protection Brochure published by the Idaho Supreme Court.
Violations of an NCO or CPO
Violations of No Contact Orders and Civil Protection Orders can have serious consequences. A first time offense is a misdemeanor offense resulting in up to $1000 fine and one-year in jail. A second offense is a felony resulting in up to $5000 fine and five-years in prison. See: Idaho Code §18-920
Call me To Discuss Your Case
Do not take these matters lightly! If you are fighting a NCO/CPO or if you have been charged with violating either of these court orders, let me fight to protect your rights, freedom, and reputation. Call me for a free consultation.