Here at Banks and Brower we frequently get calls from people who had an argument, fight, or misunderstanding with a loved one. The police are called and now their loved one is facing domestic violence charges and the Court has issued a no-contact order even though they did not request one. While this can be frustrating, it is routine in Indiana and there are steps you can take to try to get this no-contact order lifted, if that is what you desire.
The first thing to note, is that the State can pursue criminal charges even though the alleged victim in the case does not want to press charges. The “Do you want to press charges?” question is often referenced on TV but doesn’t always play out in real life. At the end of the day, the local prosecutor is the one who determines whether charges are filed. Despite the alleged victims wishes, the State has an interest in pursuing charges if for no other reason than to make a record in case something happens again in the future.
When charges alleging domestic violence are filed, the prosecutors will automatically request a no-contact order be put in place to protect the alleged victim from the defendant. While there are many times this is necessary to protect families, there are occasions where this causes a great hardship on the alleged victim and the family. There are things that can be done to get this order lifted.
First, I would encourage the alleged victim to attend the initial hearing and let the Judge know that you don’t want the no-contact order. This is a good way to address it right off the bat. In the event the initial hearing has passed and that is not an option, I would try to contact the local prosecutor. They can file a motion or set up a hearing so you can come into court and explain to the judge why you don’t want the no-contact order.
If working through the prosecutor is unsuccessful, you can always try writing a letter to the court. Make sure you keep it short and polite, and always respect the Judge’s time and authority. Often, this will cause the court to either contact the attorneys for you, or even set a hearing on the matter. A third and final option is to contact the loved one’s attorney. Generally speaking, defense attorneys are not allowed to talk to the alleged victim on a criminal case. However, writing a letter or giving them a quick call just to let them know you want the no-contact order lifted will allow them to file a motion to set a hearing without actually discussing the case.
To sum all of this up, first I would try to attend the initial hearing. Next, I would contact the prosecutor. If that doesn’t work, then I would try contacting the court directly. Finally, I would try contacting the defense attorney. Getting the no-contact order lifted will not result in the charges being dropped and will not alleviate you of your duty to comply with subpoenas to testify truthfully in a case, but it can relieve any undue hardship to you or your family until the case is worked out.
If you or a loved has been charged with a crime of domestic violence, please contact the attorneys at Banks and Brower 317-870-0019 or email@example.com to discuss your case. We represent many defendants in domestic violence cases every year and would be happy to take your case.