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What are the consequences of violating a protective order?

La R.S. 14:79 establishes the criminal consequences for violating a protective order:

On a first conviction that does not involve physical violence, the offender shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both.

On a second conviction that does not involve physical violence, the offender shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than 14 days nor more than 2 years. The first 14 days must be served without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. 

If the violation involves physical violence, the offender shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 and imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than 3 months nor more than 2 years. The first 30 days of the sentence shall be without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.

On a second or subsequent conviction within 5 years involving physical violence, the offender shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $2,000 and imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than 1 year nor more than 5 years. The first year without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. 

Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 320(K) states that a violation of any bond condition (including the violation of a protective order issued as a condition of bond) shall be considered constructive contempt of court and shall result in the revocation of bail and the issuance of a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest or remanding the defendant to custody. The Court may then increase the defendant’s bail, add additional conditions to his bail, or hold him without bail pending trial. 

If you or someone you know is facing charges for violating a protective order, please contact our office to set up a consult at (318) 459-9111.

What is the difference between a civli protective order and a criminal protective order?

A criminal protective order is issued in conjunction with a criminal charge and most often as a condition of the defendant’s bond obligation. A civil protective order can be issued entirely independently of a criminal investigation and for grounds that may not rise to the level of criminal conduct.

Civil Protective Orders:

Civil protective orders are governed by Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 46, Chapters 28 & 28-a, c & d; specifically: §§2131, et seq., 2151, et seq., 2171, et seq., and 2181, et seq. 

A civil protective order can be filed on behalf of the petitioner alone, the petitioner’s minor children, alone, or both. 

A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) shall issue pending a hearing on the permanent order if the petitioner shows an immediate and present danger of abuse in the petition.

Criminal Protective Orders:

Criminal protective orders are governed by Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 313, known as “Gwen’s Law.”

In any case in which a defendant is accused of using force or violence against a household member or dating partner (as defined in the statute), the court is required to hold a contradictory hearing before setting bail to determine the conditions of bail and whether the defendant should be held without bail.

If the court determines that the defendant poses a threat or danger to the victim, the court shall order that the defendant refrain from going near the victim’s home, school, or place of employment, and shall refrain from having any contact with the victim whatsoever.

These conditions will remain in place (unless modified) while the defendant is on bail (i.e.: until the criminal case has concluded).

If you or someone you know is dealing with a civil or criminal protective order and has questions, please call our office at (318) 459-9111.

What is a protective order and what should you do if you are served with one?

In Louisiana there are several types of protective orders. They fall into two main categories: criminal and civil.

A criminal protective order is issued in conjunction with a criminal charge and most often as a condition of the defendant’s bond obligation. A civil protective order can be issued entirely independently of a criminal investigation and for grounds that may not rise to the level of criminal conduct.

In either case, protective orders are issued because there is a threat of harm or harassment from the defendant in the action to the petitioner in the action. Protective orders are not limited to individuals who are married or in intimate relationships and can be issued in situations where one individual is stalking or simply harassing another individual. 

The purpose of a protective order is to prohibit contact between the petitioner and the defendant and to stop the behavior, whether it be physical violence or harassment that is the subject of the protective order.

Protective orders are usually filed by filling out a form available at the Clerk of Court’s office. If you are served with one, you should first note specifically what provisions the Court has ordered you to comply with. The first document you will be served with is a Temporary Restraining Order (or TRO) which will be in place until the hearing date listed in the court’s order. It may prohibit you to go to certain locations or make contact with certain people. In proceedings involving people in relationships, it may permit use of certain property (homes or vehicles, for example) to one of the parties. 

You should contact an attorney as soon as possible upon receiving the TRO because it is likely you will have a hearing date scheduled within two weeks. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether or not the court will issue a Permanent Restraining Order. At this hearing, you will be permitted to present witnesses and to testify on your own behalf.

A protective order not only has consequences with regard to your contact with the individual filing it. If a protective order is granted, you can lose your concealed carry permit, you will be ordered to dispose of or to surrender to law enforcement all of your firearms, and you may be required to report the existence of the protective order to employers or licensing agencies, depending on the terms of your employment.

If you or someone you know has recently been served with a TRO, call us at (318) 459-9111 to schedule a consult.