What Are the Penalties for Violating a Protective Order in Iowa?

If you have been accused of committing a domestic abuse offense, a no-contact or protective order may be issued against you. When granting such an order, a judge may impose various restrictions on you. Because the court establishes these requirements, if you do not comply with them, you could be facing serious penalties.

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When Can a No Contact or Protective Order Be Issued?

A no-contact order is typically part of a domestic abuse case. When an officer makes an arrest in these types of matters, a no-contact order can be issued. Usually, it is in effect until the case is resolved.

A protective order can be sought by a member of your family or household, which includes spouses, intimate partners, and people with whom you share a child. If the individual alleges you have caused them harm or believes or fears you will physically contact them, they can petition the court for a protective order. The court will schedule a hearing to determine whether or not an order should be issued.

If a judge grants a no-contact or protective order, various requirements may be imposed on you, including, but not limited to:

  • Refraining from physically contacting the person named in the order
  • Leaving a home you share with the individual
  • Refraining from going near the person's home, school, or job
  • Relinquishing firearms
  • Paying spousal and/or child support
  • Attending counseling

Failure to comply with the requirements of a no-contact or protective order is a punishable offense.

What Are the Penalties for Violating a No Contact or Protective Order?

If the court determines there is probable cause to believe you did not follow the requirements of an order, you will be scheduled for a hearing within 5 days, but not more than 15 days, after the alleged violation. If, during that hearing, the judge determines you failed to comply, you will be penalized.

The punishments you could face depend on the circumstances:

  • Failing to comply with a no-contact order could result in a 7-day jail sentence that must be served consecutively. Additionally, the judge may impose a fine.
  • Violating a protective order may also result in a jail sentence. On top of that, the judge may order you to pay the other person's attorney's fees and court costs.
  • Violating a no-contact or protective order issued as a result of a domestic abuse assault offense is punished as a simple misdemeanor. The penalties include a fine between $65 and $625 and/or incarceration for up to 30 days.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Iowa City, reach out to our skilled team at Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger by calling us at (319) 499-5524 or contacting us online. Backed by over 50 years of combined trial experience, we know what it takes to work toward a favorable outcome on your behalf.