There are many misconceptions about restraining orders or protective orders. One is that you’re not breaking the terms of a no-contact order if the person who has one against you gives you permission to break it. This is still a violation and can still get you into hot water with the North Carolina criminal justice system.
Restraining orders substantially restrict what a person can and can’t do. Fighting the issuance of an order for protection at a Chapter 50B hearing is the best opportunity to avoid getting into trouble for violating its terms. As a Massachusetts man recently found out, one alleged misstep can land you in jail once the protective order is issued.
According to the ABC News report, Thomas Gagnon was accused of sending an invitation to an ex-girlfriend to connect online via Google+ (G+ is a social platform similar to Facebook). The ex had an active restraining order against Gagnon and reported the email contact to the police as a violation. Gagnon was arrested.
Gagnon insists that he did not send the G+ invitation and did not violate the terms of the restraining order. Instead, through his defense lawyer, he asserts that Google sent the invite on its own, perhaps in response to a reorganization of his personal contacts.
Whether he did or did not send the email invite is up to the courts to determine. What anyone who has been threatened with a protective order or who is subject to a restraining order should take away from this is that any contact – even contact via the internet – may be considered a violation that will land you in jail. Don’t take chances when it comes to keep-away orders. Talk to a criminal defense attorney today about what you can and can’t do and your options for fighting the issuance of an order for protection.