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Protective Order Violation in Fairfax, Virginia: Tips From a Criminal Defense Attorney

A protective order otherwise known as a restraining order or “stay-away” order is used “to protect the health and safety of the petitioner and family or household members of a petitioner.” VA Code 19.2-152.10.


Protective orders impose conditions such as prohibiting acts of violence or threats towards the petitioner in addition to prohibiting contact between the perpetrator and the petitioner. These orders can last for a maximum of two years and the petitioner can request to have the protective order extended an infinite number of times.


Protective Order Violations in Virginia


A protective order violation in Virginia is defined as the accused violating any provision of a protective order including acts of violence, stalking, and even simple contact between the accused  and the petitioner.  


Violation of a protective order can either be charged under VA Code § 18.2-60.4, or as contempt of court, but never both.

What are the penalties for violating a protective order?


 The violation of a protective order is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 12 months and/or a maximum fine of $2,500. First time convictions for violating a protective order carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 day in jail due to a technicality in the statute. “Upon conviction of any offense hereunder for which a mandatory minimum term of confinement is not specified, the person shall be sentenced to a term of confinement and in no case shall the entire term imposed be suspended.” In other words, if you are convicted of violating a protective order, you will spend at least one day in jail.


A second violation of a protective order “within five years of the prior conviction” will receive a “mandatory minimum term of confinement of 60 days” (VA Code 18.2-60.4). Any other offense within 20 years is “guilty of a Class 6 felony” and will receive a “mandatory minimum term of confinement of 6 months” (VA Code § 18.2-60.4). When perpetrators violate a protective order, perpetrators are frequently guilty of committing other crimes, such as assault or trespassing. Therefore, if the perpetrator commits an act of violence or stalking against the petitioner, they are “guilty of a Class 6 felony, in addition to any other penalty provided by law” (VA Code.§18.2-60.4).


How we can help


The Pickett Law Group has a track record of beating protective order violations. Recently, we have had two protective order violations dismissed. This means these former clients could have the charge expunged off their record. Call us today and we will help you beat your protective order violation.  

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