If you or someone you know is facing challenging legal circumstances regarding criminal charges in Indiana, you may encounter a legal term known as a “no-contact order.” The criminal defense attorneys at the Marc Lopez Law Firm are very familiar with the complexities that can arise with a no-contact order and how it relates to various criminal cases. These orders are often associated with cases involving violence and domestic battery. In this legal overview, we will explore what no-contact orders mean, their significance, and how to navigate through these legal intricacies. 

Understanding No-Contact Orders in Indiana

A no-contact order is an order which prohibits a person from having any direct or indirect contact with another individual. This type of order can be issued under various circumstances, including cases which involve family matters, juvenile law, and more commonly, criminal matters. No-contact orders are issued by a judge as a condition of bail, a sentence, or probation. Complying with a no-contact order is crucial, as violating them can result in serious legal consequences, including additional criminal charges.

No-Contact Orders and Criminal Cases

No-contact orders are associated with criminal cases ranging from battery to driving while intoxicated (DUI) cases. In some cases, a judge will automatically issue a no-contact order for certain defendants. As outlined in Indiana Code § 35-33-8-3.6, in a case where an individual has been charged with committing a violent crime which resulted in bodily injury against another, the individual may only be released on bail if the court issues, as a condition of bail, a no-contact order. For these cases, the no-contact order lasts for ten days after release or until the initial hearing, whichever occurs first. Additionally, at the initial hearing, the court can reinstate or modify the no-contact order. In general, most no-contact orders stay in place until the criminal case is resolved. While these orders are primarily intended to protect the affected parties, they play a significant role in the legal proceedings.

Consequences of Violating No-Contact Orders

Failing to adhere to a no-contact order can lead to severe consequences, ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a Level 6 felony, depending on the circumstances of the violation. This could lead to potential imprisonment, bond revocation, and further invasion of privacy charges. Accumulating such offenses could have lasting implications on your legal standing. Indiana Code § 35-46-1-15.1(a) outlines some of the instances which could lead to a Class A misdemeanor charge if the person knowingly or intentionally violates such a no-contact order:

  1. a no-contact order that orders the person to refrain from direct or indirect contact with a child in need of services or a delinquent child;
  2. a no-contact order issued as a condition of pretrial release, including release on bail, personal recognizance, or pretrial diversion;
  3. a no-contact order issued as a condition of probation;
  4. an order issued in another state that is similar to an order described above; or
  5. an order issued by a Native American tribe, band, pueblo, nation, or organized group or community that is similar to an order described above.

The consequences increase in severity to a Level 6 felony if a person knowingly or intentionally violates a no-contact order and has a prior unrelated conviction for violation of a no-contact order or a stalking charge.

Finding Legal Assistance

In order to navigate through the complexities of a no-contact order effectively, especially if there are associated criminal charges from an alleged violation, it is essential to hire an attorney who understands the laws associated. Lifting a no-contact order can be tricky. Unless your case is dismissed or you serve your entire sentence, the only way to lift a no-contact order is for the protected person to testify under oath that they want the no-contact order lifted. In addition, the judge must agree to lift the no-contact order. 

If you or someone you know is facing a no-contact order or criminal charges for a violation of a no-contact order in Indiana, seeking legal counsel is of utmost priority. Understanding the implications and intricacies of a no-contact order is crucial for a favorable legal outcome.

Make the Right Call

At the Marc Lopez Law Firm, we understand the complexities surrounding no-contact orders, compliance, and how to safeguard your legal rights—especially when associated with other criminal charges. If you have any questions or concerns regarding a criminal charge for crimes of violence or violation of a no-contact order, reach out to our dedicated legal team at the Marc Lopez Law Firm. We are here to guide you through the legal process and help you make informed decisions. Give us a call at 317-632-3642 and remember–always plead the 5th!