Go to Active Court System Alert.
The Official Website of the Massachusetts Judicial Branch
- If the police witness or have probable cause to believe that you have violated an abuse prevention order, the police are required to arrest you.
- An abuse prevention order is a civil order but a violation of certain parts the order is a criminal offense. Violation of the no abuse, no contact, leave the home, stay away from home/work or surrender firearms terms of an order are criminal offenses. A violation is punishable by up to two and a half years in the house of correction. If you are found guilty of this crime, you can go to jail and/or be placed on probation. A criminal conviction (even a continuance without a finding) can (among other things) affect your ability to obtain employment, public housing, or citizenship, or subject you to deportation.
- Failure to pay money owed. If you do not pay child support, child support or any money damages ordered, the court can hold a hearing to see if you should be held in contempt of court for not following this part of the order.
Information for Defendants on Abuse Prevention Orders