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Accused of domestic violence? 'No contact' means no contact

Sometimes, if you have been singled out by the criminal justice system, even well-meaning gestures can be considered cause for concern. When people in Wisconsin are arrested on charges of domestic violence, they are often required to follow the conditions set forth in a no-contact order. Actions which are considered violations of these orders may surprise you.

No-contact orders are often set as conditions for bail and probation. They also function as elements of restraining orders or orders of protection. Essentially, a no-contact order means just that. Whoever has been accused of domestic violence is required to avoid contact with whomever the order protects. Usually, orders protect the alleged victim of domestic violence.

A Wisconsin man learned recently that these orders are enforced strictly. In January, the man was arrested on domestic violence charges, including battery of his wife. As a condition of bail, he was issued a no-contact order. Having any direct or indirect contact with his wife would result in violation of this bail condition.

When Valentine's Day rolled around, the man ordered flowers for his wife, which he had sent to her place of work. When ordering the flowers, he told the clerk to keep his name off of the card, because he was not allowed to contact his wife. As a result of sending the flowers, he has been charged with felony bail jumping. This is punishable by three years imprisonment.

When issued a no-contact order for any reason, "no contact" truly means no contact. If you feel that you must contact the alleged victim regarding child custody matters, transfer of possessions or any other legitimate reason, you should speak to your attorney for advice or otherwise follow court instructions. Violation of no-contact orders for even the most legitimate or well-meaning reasons could land you in jail.

Source: Sheboygan Press, "Man sends Valentine's Day flowers to estranged wife, violates restraining order," Feb. 15, 2012

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