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What happens if the defendant violates an abuse prevention order?

If the police witness or have probable cause to believe that the defendant violated a restraining order, they are required to arrest the defendant.

An abuse prevention order is a civil order, but violating certain parts of the order is a criminal offense. Violating 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 2.5 years in the house of correction. If you’re found guilty of this crime, you can be put on probation and/or go to jail. A criminal conviction (even a continuance without a finding) can affect your ability to get a job, public housing, or citizenship, or subject you to getting deported, among other things. If you don’t pay child support or any other money ordered, the court can hold a hearing to see if you should be held in contempt 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 what happened.

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