In the state of Massachusetts, a restraining order is also known as a 209A order. If a restraining order has been issued against you and you violate any of its terms and conditions, you have committed a criminal offense. If convicted, you could face up to two-and-a-half years in jail and a fine of up to five thousand dollars. The best advice? Don’t violate a 209A order. But if you’ve made a mistake, or an angry ex has embellished the truth in order to punish you, it’s in your best interest to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney without delay. The law offices of Altman and Altman have been representing individuals charged with violating restraining orders for over 50 years, our experienced criminal defense team is just a phone call away. Our phones are answered 24/7.
If convicted of violating a 209A order, you may be required to complete a “batterer’s program” in addition to jail time and fines. Judges take violations very seriously, and failure to abide by the terms of a 209A order can result in devastating consequences. Four elements must exist in order to convict someone of violating a restraining order.
So, what constitutes a violation? Let’s take a look:
- The issuance of a 209A order that prohibited the accused from contacting, abusing, or going near the victim.
- The violation must have occurred while the order was in effect, not before it was issued or after it expired.
- The defendant must have been aware that the order was in effect.
- The defendant committed one of the following violations: contacting, abusing, or going near the victim, or failing to vacate the home.
If any of the above elements cannot be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, a conviction is unlikely. Getting charged with a 209A violation is no laughing matter. If you have been charged with this offense, contact a Boston criminal defense lawyer today.
Possible Defenses to Violating a 209A Order
If you are facing violation charges, what possible defenses exist? Well, the answer to this question is largely dependent on the circumstances of both the original order and the violation. For example, if the violation occurred because you stopped by the victim’s home to retrieve your bicycle from the back porch, the punishment will likely be much different than if the victim has recorded conversations of you threatening his or her safety. Was the violation accidental? Does the judge believe you pose a real danger to the victim? All of these questions will be considered when determining the level of punishment. Below are some possible defenses to 209A order violation:
- You never received the restraining order.
- You did not violate the terms of the order.
- The violation was unintentional.
- The violation was technical rather than intentional.
If you have been charged with violating a restraining order, contact a MA defense lawyer today.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Top Criminal Defense Law Firm Serving Boston and the Surrounding Areas
If you are facing charges for any type of criminal offense, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. Don’t let a simple mistake ruin your life. A criminal record can negatively impact your ability to find employment and housing, and can even ruin your credit, for years to come. At Altman & Altman, LLP, it is our goal to keep your record clean and to keep you out of jail. If you have been charged with a violation, multiple defenses are available to you. However, without the help of an experienced defense attorney, your chances of success are significantly reduced. Our knowledgeable legal team will analyze the details of your case and position you for the best possible outcome. We’ve been protecting the rights of individuals charged with criminal offenses for more than 50 years. If you are facing charges for any type of criminal offense, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.