Under Rhode Island law, A “no contact order” means that a criminal defendant, criminal accused or convicted criminal is prohibited from having any contact and or communication with the victim or the person under the protection of the no contact order. This includes but is not limited to letters, emails, text messages or messages delivered through a third party. This article applies to both felonies and misdemeanors in RI.
The need to be vigilant – no contact order (NCO)
In other words if a person is under a NCO and sees the victim in public they must leave the area immediately and not acknowledge the victims existence. A person cannot even say “hi” if they walk by the victim by chance on the street.
A person can be arrested under Rhode Island law for violating a no contact order even if the victim initiates the contact and calls the defendant. A person can be charged with breaking a no contact order even if invited by his wife to come back to the marital home.
How long does a no contact order last?
How long does a no contact order last? A no contact order last until the case is dismissed or until the sentence or penalty is over. If an accused gets a five year probation, the no contact order would end when the probation ends.
Be very careful!
Even if the victim tells you that the no contact order has been dropped, do not take the victims word for it. You must see the piece of paper signed by the judge dismissing the no contact order before any contact or communication is initiated. A no contact order expires when the sentence period is finished. A no contact order also expires if the case is dismissed or the defendant is found not guilty. However, be careful because there may also be another restraining order issued as a result of a divorce or Family Court matter or a District Court restraining order.
A person who is on probation or a probation attached to a suspended sentence must be even more vigilante in order to not violate the no contact order. A violation of an NCO is a crime in itself which is also a violation of the conditions of probation. A person on probation or bail can be held at the ACI if they are accused of violating such an order. For example if a person is on probation or bail, a single phone call made by the defendant to a victim under the protection of a no-contact order probably means a minimum of ten 10 days in jail at the ACI. We are not talking about the local town jail but the ACI. If a person has a suspended sentence the amount of jail time for violating a no contact order could be substantial.
If you were arrested for violating a NCO, please contact a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney
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