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What you need to know about no-contact orders in Washington state

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2023 | Criminal Defense

When facing accusations of domestic violence situations, stalking and other such cases, no-contact orders are common. A no-contact order, or order for protection, is a court order that bars you from contacting a specific person.

There are many details included with such an order that can be easy to violate if you are not aware of the stipulations. It is important to know your responsibilities when under a no-contact order.

No-Contact means no contact

Although this should be obvious, you can not contact the person named in the order, either directly or through others. Sending messages through friends and family is still a violation of the order.

Types of no-contact orders

There are different types of no-contact orders. These are domestic violence, sexual assault protection, stalking and antiharassment orders. There are also extreme risk and vulnerable adult or child orders.

Types of violations

There are various ways to violate a no-contact order, but situations can vary:

  • You must avoid the person with the order against you. The person who has the order against you cannot violate their own order. It is up to you to avoid them even if they call you, invite you to their residence or otherwise communicate with you. If you do, you are in violation and may be subject to arrest or removal.
  • Your order may come with a distance provision. It is usually within 500 feet of the protected persons but can differ depending on the circumstances. This goes for their home, work, school or any other location the protected person frequents.
  • You cannot have a firearm while under a no-contact order. If you have one, you must surrender it to law enforcement.

These are not the only provisions that your order might have. You must read and understand the details of your own order to ensure you do not violate it.