RI no contact order. 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 to the victim 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 NCO 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 NCO would end when the probation ends.
Be very careful!
Even if the victim tells you that the NCO 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.
Probation or Parole- period of extreme risk
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. We are talking about the ACI. If a person has a suspended sentence the amount of jail time for violating a no contact order could be substantial.
Violating a no-contact order can result in legal consequences, which can vary depending on the specific terms of the order and the jurisdiction in which it was issued. No-contact orders are typically issued by the court to protect individuals involved in a legal case, often in situations involving domestic violence, harassment, or other criminal activities. Violations of no-contact orders can take several forms, including:
- Direct Contact: This is the most straightforward violation and involves any form of direct communication with the protected party. This can include phone calls, text messages, emails, social media messages, or in-person contact.
- Third-Party Contact: Attempting to communicate with the protected party through intermediaries or third parties is also considered a violation. For example, asking a friend to pass a message to the protected person would be a violation.
- Stalking: Engaging in behaviors that involve following, monitoring, or tracking the protected individual, either physically or online, can constitute a violation of a no-contact order.
- Showing up at Their Residence or Workplace: Going to the protected person’s home or place of employment, even if there’s no direct contact, is usually a violation of the order.
- Sending Gifts or Flowers: Sending gifts, flowers, or other items to the protected person can be considered a violation, as it is a form of communication.
- Social Media Interactions: Engaging with the protected person on social media platforms, such as liking or commenting on their posts, can be seen as indirect contact and may violate the order.
- Defying Stay-Away Orders: If the no-contact order includes a provision that prohibits the accused from coming within a certain distance of the protected party, violating this distance can result in a violation.
- Contacting Through Family Members: Contacting the protected person through their family members or close associates can also be a violation of the order.
- Violating Any Specific Terms: No-contact orders can have specific conditions, such as refraining from drinking alcohol or possessing firearms. Violating any of these specific terms can result in legal consequences.
Consequences for violating a no-contact order can vary by jurisdiction but may include fines, probation, jail time, or additional restraining orders. It’s essential to take no-contact orders seriously and to comply with their terms to avoid legal trouble. If you believe a no-contact order is unjust or should be modified, it is advisable to consult with an attorney to navigate the legal process properly.
If you were arrested for violating a NCO, please contact a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney
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