If a temporary restraining order (TRO) is violated, it is often up to the victim to return to court to prove the abuser has acted in contempt of the court order. In many states violations of a restraining order will result in an arrest and mandatory sentencing for violating the order. If police will not get involved, contacting the prosecuting attorney for criminal matters may be an option or the victim may have to go so far as to prepare another affidavit detailing how the domestic abuser has violated the order asking for a hearing to determine if the order was indeed violated. Keep in mind that actions taken by the victim will create a record which may prove useful in future proceedings regardless of what consequences the abuser may face immediately following a restraining order violation.
It is also very helpful if a victim can provide the court a log of events. Jotting down incidences of intimidating, harassing or abusive behavior will not only substantiate claims when a victim applies for protective orders, but also will help prove that an order was violated. It may be harassing phone calls, an abuser showing up at a victim’s workplace uninvited, or other actions that may give rise to stalking or harassment charges. A judge will have discretion to decide the extent of the violation. Some may not see calls at all hours of the night as sufficient to show willful violation, but if a victim can show a pattern of harassment the judge may act.
The penalty for violating a restraining order can be as serious as a prison sentence and may include restitution to the victim for expenses incurred by the victim such as lost wages, attorney’s fees, child care, medical expenses and more. It is important to seek the help of an experienced domestic abuse restraining order lawyer who can guide you through the process or seek consequences if an order is violated. If you need more information, contact Probst Law Offices S.C. to discuss your concerns at 414-210-3135.