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Can violating a protection order count as an Internet crime?

Countless victims of domestic violence file for restraining orders or protection orders against their abusers every year in North Dakota, as well as the rest of the country. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic violence is responsible for many cases of violent crime. Protection orders aim to protect victims from further harm or the threat of harm.

If you are served with a protection order, whether or not you actually harmed your family members, you are prohibited from going near or contacting those listed in the order. There may be some provisions, such as peacefully communicating with your ex-spouse for the purposes of child custody matters. However, violating the terms of the order can result in serious penalties, states WomensLaw.org. In North Dakota, the first violation is considered both a class A misdemeanor and contempt of court. Any subsequent violations are considered class C felonies.

What if you attempted to reach your ex or children by email, text messaging or social media instead of making a phone call? Using the Internet or methods of sending text would count as a violation of the order if you are not permitted to contact your ex or children under any circumstances. In fact, if you make repeated attempts to text, email or contact them through social media sites like Facebook, this may be seen as stalking or harassment. If you are trying to contest the protection order, violating the terms is not likely to work out in your favor.

While the information in this blog is intended to be helpful, it should not substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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