What Happens if I Violate a Restraining Order or Order of Protection in South Carolina?

April 30, 2024
Criminal Defense

Accusations of domestic violence often come with restraining orders or orders of protection. In many cases, they are issued before the allegations can be substantiated.

While restraining orders are not criminal charges in themselves, they can cause serious damage to your career, reputation, and family life. Let a Rock Hill criminal defense lawyer from Barboza Law protect your best interests. Attorney Barboza has years of experience, garnering a reputation for a strong defense and attention to detail.

Are There Different Types of Restraining Orders?

In South Carolina, there are two types of restraining orders: temporary and permanent. A temporary restraining order may be issued by a magistrate judge on behalf of an alleged victim or witness in a criminal case.

On the other hand, permanent restraining orders are only issued after a conviction of certain criminal offenses, including harassment, stalking, and domestic violence. If you have plead guilty, the court may issue a permanent restraining order.

Restraining Orders and Orders of Protection are Different in South Carolina

Unlike restraining orders, an order of protection is issued by the family court when the alleged victim shares the same household. In addition, there must be clear and present danger of physical or sexual abuse.

What Can be Considered a Restraining Order Violation?  

What constitutes a violation depends on the details of the restraining order or order of protection. The details of what a person cannot do may vary from case to case. However, some actions that are prohibited may include:

  • Contact with the subject of the restraining order
  • Coming within a specified distance of the person’s residence, place of work, or school
  • Possessing guns or ammunition
  • Returning to a shared residence
  • Threatening the subject of the restraining order or their family members

If you have been accused of violating a restraining order or an order of protection, it is critical to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. The penalties are steep and may have far-reaching implications.

What are the Penalties for Violating Restraining Orders and Orders of Protection?

The penalties for violating a restraining order can be severe. Violating a temporary restraining order is a misdemeanor, often costing the defendant a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail.

1. Penalties for Violating a Permanent Restraining Order

Violating a permanent restraining order may be a misdemeanor or a felony. Since a permanent restraining order is only issued after a conviction, it depends on the underlying crime. For example, if the conviction is a misdemeanor, then violating a permanent restraining order will also be a misdemeanor. The penalty carries a sentence of up to 3 years in prison. A felony conviction would also lead to a felony restraining order violation. The penalty carries a prison sentence of up to 5 years.

2. Consequences for Violating an Order of Protection

Violating an order of protection is considered a misdemeanor. The penalties include:

  • A fine of up to $500
  • Up to 30 days in jail

In many cases, a violation of an order of protection is considered contempt of court. The following penalties may be tacked on:

  • Fine of up to $1,500
  • 1 year in jail
  • 300 hours of community service

Why You Need a Rock Hill Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with violating a restraining order or an order of protection, Barboza Law is here for you. Our criminal defense attorney in Rock Hill has the skills and resources you need to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom.

Schedule a consultation today at (803) 973-6003 to discuss the details of your case.