This person has been calling me ever since the order has been placed. Visited me several times when I was incarcerated. Has picked me up from work, even spent the night with me. Now I am being told that I have a warrant for violating the order now that this person is upset with me. They were the one who initiated contact up until a couple of months ago. Will the evidence that I have proving such stand in court?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Most judges will not tolerate a wishy washy person who gets an order from that judge because they are sooooo scared and then proceeds to ignore the judge's order themselves. That said, yes, they "can" contact you - but by doing so they sort of tell the judge they really didn't need the protective order that they were awarded and they sort of say "yeah, well, judge, you know, I kind of lied to you about that whole 'being afraid' thing." Is a cop wrong for arresting you for ignoring the protective order? not really because you knew you weren't supposed to be around that person but even if that happens it won't be long until you get in front of the judge and get to tell your side of things. . . . . always always always better to run from anybody who tries to contact you after they get a TPO against you.
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Family Law Attorney
Sadly, the story you have is a common one. The protective order prohibit you from having contact with this person. Unfortunately, the fact that this person initiated the contact is not a defense to violating the order. In fact, by presenting evidence that this person is the one that initiated the contact you are essentially admitting that you violated the order. I always make sure that my clients understand that the person that obtained the protective order does not have the authority to waive it. Only a judge can do this. When someone has a protective order against you, any contact you have is at your peril.
That having been said, sometimes there are technical defenses to such violations. These are usually very fact specific. I would encourage you to speak with a knowledgeable defense attorney.
The answer to this question does not establish an attorney client relationship and does not constitute a privileged communication. Furthermore, it is offered in response to question asked and is based on limited facts. It should not be relied on as legal advice. If you are in need of more specific answers to your questions you should consult directly with an attorney.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I can assure you that the Judge has heard all of this before but the unfortunate thing for you is that it is very difficult to navigate through the court system without an attorney holding your hand. You could very easily be looking at an aggravated stalking felony charge for violation of the Protective Order. You need someone who will go get certified copies of the jail records and other evidence to prove to the Judge that you were not initiating contact in hopes that the Judge will be sympathetic with your position. Let me know if I can help you in anyway.
If you have further questions, call me at 678-455-4610. The information and opinion rendered herein is done as a courtesy and is for general informational purposes. Nothing herein may be construed by any party as to give rise to an attorney-client relationship.
Criminal Defense Attorney
The evidence of her contacting you after the TPO was issued is neither a violation of the TPO (unless it was mutual) nor an absolute defense to you subsequently contacting her without consent over the last couple of months. There is case law in Georgia that says her prior consent and initiation of contact does not excuse subsequent contacts by you in violation of the TPO without her consent.
However, this evidence may go a long way with the jury if it can be connected to an intent or mistake of fact defense. Basically, her prior conduct could give you a defense that you mistakenly believed you had her permission to contact her now and/or that you did not intend to contact her without consent. It might also be sufficient to convince a jury that she had given you consent to contact her on the occasions for which you were charged. Under this theory, consent does not have to be verbal. A person's conduct, even prior conduct, can show consent to an act. For instance, if the police ask a homeowner whether they can come in and search the residence, and that homeowner opens the door and steps aside, he has consented to a search of the residence. You need a lawyer to review all the facts and circumstances of the case to determine whether you have a valid defense based upon her prior conduct.
Allen R. Knox
125 TownPark Drive, Suite 300
Kennesaw, GA 30144
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