If the police witness or have probable cause to believe that the defendant violated a restraining order, the police are required to arrest the defendant.
- An abuse prevention order is a civil order, but a violation of certain parts of 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.
If the defendant violates the no abuse, no contact, leave the home, stay away from home/work or surrender firearms terms of the order, the plaintiff should contact the local police department immediately and tell them that you have a restraining order and what happened.