If you were just released from jail after being arrested for Domestic Violence in Fort Walton Beach, you are probably scared about what comes next. You might be wondering how this happened in the first place, and what can be done to fix the mess that you’re in.
As a condition of your release, one of your bond conditions is most likely that you have no contact with the alleged victim. When we meet with clients in this situation, the first question they always ask is about getting the no contact order lifted. No Contact orders complicate an already frustrating situation. Not only are you now facing criminal charges, but you have been forced from your home and separated from the ones you love.
If you are the alleged victim in a domestic violence case, you may be feeling hopeless now that your loved one has been arrested and are not allowed to have any contact with you whatsoever.
Some of the standard sanctions of a No Contact order include:
- No Contact with the victim (this includes verbal, written or third-party communication);
- Vacate the shared residence; and
- Not to be within 500 feet of the victim’s, their residence, job, vehicle, or places they frequent.
Throughout our years of defending domestic violence cases in Fort Walton Beach, we have seen that a no contact order can put our clients and their families in quite a predicament. Planning for your next steps, finances, living arrangements and children can prove quite difficult if a no contact order is in place. Not being able to talk to your loved one after an arrest can make you feel even more stressed than you were before.
Whether you are the alleged victim, or needing representation yourself, helping you get the No Contact order in Fort Walton Beach lifted will help ease some of your stress and help you start to put the pieces back together.
We encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible. After a domestic violence arrest, we have found it most effective to file the necessary forms to modify the contact immediately. If you or some you know are in this situation, call us at (850) 243-6097. My partner, Brandy Merrifield, and I will explain the process for getting you back home as soon as possible. We have helped hundreds of people in Fort Walton Beach have contact restored and are ready to help you too.
What is the first step in getting a no contact order lifted in Fort Walton Beach?
The first step to get a no contact order lifted, or modified, in Fort Walton Beach is to reach out to the alleged victim to ensure they would like to have contact. Once we can confirm that the alleged victim is requesting contact, we will work with them to get sworn affidavits stating they wish to have contact. We will then file these forms with the court and the prosecutor.
How to get a no contact order lifted in Fort Walton Beach
At the state attorney’s office, there is a person that handles domestic violence cases and is the contact person for the alleged victim. This person is the Victim’s Advocate. It is her job to treat every single person she meets as a victim, no matter whether that person considers themselves a victim or not and regardless of whether the alleged victim wants to press charges. This person is our biggest roadblock to getting no contact orders lifted in Fort Walton Beach.
How do we get past this roadblock? We go around it. We can contact the prosecutors directly and “cut out the middle man.” We will make our case to them about why the no contact order should be lifted.
In order to get the prosecutor to agree to change the no contact order, we will need to get in touch with the alleged victim and get their side of the story. From there, we will make decisions about the best way to convince the prosecutor to agree to change the no contact order.
In most cases, if the alleged victim says what we need them to say (and there are very specific things we will need them to say), the prosecutor will agree to modify the no contact order and change it to no violent contact. If they agree, we will draft a Motion, have the prosecutor sign it, and walk it personally to the Judge with an Order. Once the Judge signs that Order, you will be back in your home that same day.
What if the prosecutor won’t agree to change the no contact order?
Depending on the facts of the case, and on whether our client has any prior arrests for Domestic Violence, sometimes the prosecutor will object to lifting the no contact order. If they object, we will file a Motion setting a hearing before the Judge. Then it will be up to the Judge to decide whether it is appropriate to change the contact order. Both of our domestic violence Judges in Fort Walton Beach, Judge Grinsted and Judge Mason, are very fair and will listen to our side before making a decision.
We have also learned over the years that it helps a lot if the alleged victim is present in court and is willing to go on the record requesting contact. We know appearing in court may sound daunting, but rest assured, we will prepare you and keep you informed every step of the way.
Contact an Okaloosa County Domestic Violence Attorney
If you or a loved one have been charged with domestic violence in Okaloosa County, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 403-6835 for a free consultation.