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Can I Violate My Own Protective Order?

In Iowa, protective orders are issued to protect victims of violence, stalking, and domestic abuse. Every protective order includes conditions that prevent physical, sexual, and emotional violence. Petitioners and abusers are equally responsible for respecting the boundaries initiated by this court order. It’s a crime in almost every state for an abuser to violate a protective order. Iowa, however, is one of the few states that also charges victims for aiding and abetting their abusers.

Petitioners can be held in contempt of court if they disregard the “no contact” condition of a protective order. Remember, protective orders are intended to prevent recurrent violence against victims. It sends a mixed message to the court about the dangerous nature of the abuser if a petitioner keeps initiating contact. Petitioners who willingly put themselves in danger are violating a legal order and may be arrested alongside their abuser. In some cases, this can lead to jail time and costly fines.

It’s important to follow the conditions of your protective order. Do not:

  1. Initiate contact with your abuser
  2. Have friends or family relay messages to your abuser
  3. Intentionally visit places you know your abuser frequents

Only your attorney can communicate necessary messages or information to your abuser.

In some cases, this law also protects defendants from being entrapped by fraudulent petitioners. The court may find an order of protection suspect if a petitioner initiates contact. In fact, the defendant can use a violation as evidence against the petitioner extending their protective order.

File Your Protective Order

The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw is dedicated to protecting victims of violence. Contact our firm if you’re ready to file a protective order. Our West Des Moines domestic abuse attorneys can offer information, legal guidance, and representation to hopeful petitioners seeking safety.

Call The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw at (515) 200-7571 to schedule a free case evaluation.

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