Restraining Order Violations in Taunton, MA
Although violating a restraining order is technically a misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the offense is taken extremely seriously by the courts, who view such orders as means to prevent more serious types of crimes from occurring. They are often issued in cases of domestic violence and dispute, typically when one individual is fearful of another.
The Nature of Restraining Orders
In Massachusetts, a 209A, also known as a restraining order or an abuse protection order, is a civil action meant to inhibit a defendant from making contact with the plaintiff in any way. In some instances it may give provisional custody of children to the petitioning partner, evict the defendant from a residence shared with the partner, or appropriate the defendant’s weapons. If a 209A is taken out against a defendant, it will appear on his or her CORI or permanent criminal record.
Elements of Restraining Order Violation
In Massachusetts, violation of a restraining order is considered a criminal offense. If the terms of a restraining order are violated, the individual involved may be sentenced to a maximum of two and a half years in jail and receive a fine of up to $5,000. It is also likely that the defendant will be ordered to complete a certified Intimate Partner Abuse Education Program (IPAEP), which is designed to intercede in cases of domestic abuse. The actual punishment will depend on a number of factors, such as why the restraining order was originally issued, the allegations related to the violation, the defendant’s criminal record if any, and an evaluation of the ongoing threat the defendant poses to the victim. Restraining order violations remain on the defendant’s permanent record and thus impact his or her life for many years.
Considering the legal consequences of the offense, if you are in violation of a restraining order, it is imperative that you contact a qualified attorney to review your case. Call the Law Office of Rachel M. Matos at 508-386-9094 today to go over the details of your restraining order violation case and learn how to best proceed.