In Louisiana, victims of domestic abuse can seek a protective injunction to keep their abusers at bay. Protective orders are tools to protect victims and families from abusive family members, household members, or dating partners.
These orders put in place strict rules that must be followed by the alleged abuser. A violation of the rules in a protective order can result in criminal charges.
What happens if you violate a protective order?
Louisiana statute La R.S. 14:79 sets forth the criminal consequences for violating a protective order. Click this link to read the statute.
First conviction for violating a protective order
On a first conviction that doesn’t involve physical violence, the offender shall be fined not more than $500 or incarcerated for not more than six months, or both.
Second conviction for violating a protective order
On a second conviction with no physical violence, the person in violation of the law will be fined no more than $1,000 or incarcerated for not less than 14 days nor more than two years. The first 14 days have to be served without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
If physical violence is involved during the second offense, the violator shall be sentenced to pay no more than $1,000 and imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than three months nor more than two years. The first 30 days are mandatory.
On a second or subsequent conviction within five years that involves physical violence, subjects the offender to be fined not more than $2,000 and incarcerated for not less than one year nor more than five years. The first year is mandatory.
Third conviction for violating a protective order
On a third or subsequent conviction for violating a protective order without physical violence, the offender shall be fined no more than $1,000.00 and imprisoned for not less than fourteen days nor more than six months. Fourteen days of the sentence is mandatory.
If a portion of the sentence involves probation, parole, or suspension of the sentence, the offender is required to attend a court-approved domestic abuse counseling program, unless, in the discretion of the judge, the offender would not benefit from counseling.
The Louisiana Code of criminal procedure article 320(K) gives authority to the courts to hold the offender in contempt of Court and revoke his bail and issue a bench warrant for his arrest. The Court may increase the defendants’ bail, keep him in jail, or add conditions to his bail.
Violations of a protective order that involve violence subject you to even harsher penalties. If you face charges for violating a protective order, you need to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney.
Types of protective orders in Louisiana
There are three protective injunctions available in Louisiana:
Emergency Temporary Restraining Order
An emergency temporary restraining order is sought during an urgent situation beyond the courts’ regular hours. An emergency temporary restraining order provides immediate protection from an abuser.
The emergency order must be confirmed and converted to a temporary restraining order or a protective order the next business day; otherwise, the order expires.
Temporary Restraining Order
A temporary restraining order can be requested in conjunction with a long-term protective order to obtain protection before the protective order hearing.
The court may issue the order without the abuser present; however, the abuser is notified of the rule, and a date for a hearing will be set. See RS 46:2135 This order typically expires on the date of the protective order hearing.
Long-Term Protective Order
Long-term protective orders are only issued after a hearing and can last up to 18 months. However, there are sections of the order that continue indefinitely. Specifically, the part that states the abuser should not “abuse, harass, or interfere with the petitioner or his/her employment; should not go near the residence or place of employment of the petitioner, the minor children, or any person on whose behalf the petition was filed.”
A protective order typically sets rules that define how the alleged abuser may act around the victim and their immediate family. Any person that willfully violates the protective order after being notified of its issuance is in violation of the law and can be subjected to criminal penalties.
If you’ve been charged with violating a protective order, contact our office to have an experienced attorney on your side. We have offices in Hammond and Livingston, Louisiana. Contact our offices at (225) 686-8006