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What Are The Rules For a No Contact Order in SC?
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What Are The Rules For a No Contact Order in SC?

If you're out on bond for CDV (now simply called domestic violence) in South Carolina, you may have a no-contact order in place.

If so, don't contact the alleged victim for any reason. Not even for an apology or to see your children.

Violating a no-contact order can get you into big trouble.

Here's why...

A no-contact order is a restriction judges often put on those accused of a violent crime.

It's purpose is to keep the accused and the alleged victim apart between the time the accused posts bail and when the case can be heard.

It also provides the victim with some measure of security while the accused is out of jail.

While a no-contact order may sound like an order of protection (also called a restraining order), it's not the same thing. Both do serve similar purposes, however.

These orders can be confusing, so here are answers to the most common questions about no-contact order rules.

How are no-contact orders issued?

No-contact orders are issued by a judge at a bond hearing. As a condition of being released on bond, the accused must not contact the alleged victim in any way. No phone calls. No emails. No text messages. No Facebook posts. No tweets. No nothing. This also includes indirect contact, such as having a friend or relative contact the alleged victim.

What are the requirements for a no-contact order to be issued?

A judge sets a no-contact order as a condition of granting bond to the accused as he or she sees fit. In other words, it is entirely in the discretion of the judge to set the bond.

When is a no-contact order issued?

A no-contact order is issued at the time the judge sets bond.

When does a no-contact order take effect?

A no-contact order takes effect as soon as the judge issues it.

How long do no-contact orders last?

No-contact orders begin when the accused is granted bail and typically end when the trial is completed. This makes sense regardless of the trial’s outcome.

How do you file a no-contact order?

Unlike an order of protection, an alleged victim does not file for a no-contact order. The order is made by a judge when bond is set.

Does a no-contact order go both ways?

No. The alleged victim does not have any stipulations put upon him or her by the accused’s bond.

Can the victim violate a no-contact order?

No. The no-contact order is placed on the accused. If the alleged victim contacts you, do not respond. Instead, notify your attorney about the alleged victim’s attempt to reach out to you.

Can police issue a no-contact order?

No. A no-contact order can only be issued by a judge.

Does a no-contact order go on your record?

No. A no-contact order has no effect on a person’s criminal record.

Does a no-contact order show up on a background check?

No.

Can a no-contact order be issued for emotional abuse?

No, but you can request an order of protection.

Can a no-contact order be issued for harassment?

If the harassment meets the legal standard for abuse, the harassed can seek an order of protection. This isn’t the same thing as a no-contact order.

Living up to your end of the deal

The no-contact order is part of a larger deal between you and the judge. In exchange for agreeing to certain conditions, the judge lets you out of jail. Violate that agreement, and you can end up back in jail until your trial is over. You must keep up your end of the deal to maintain your freedom.

Does a no-contact order keep you from texting the alleged victim?

Yes. Do not text the victim. Doing so violates the no-contact order.

Does a no-contact order apply to social media?

Yes. Do not reach out to the alleged victim through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

How will a no-contact order affect child visitation?

No matter what arrangements you have with your child’s other parent, you cannot violate a no-contact order. The best course of action is to bring up the issue of child visitation at the bond hearing.

How does the judge know if a no-contact order has been violated?

Normally, the judge only finds out the order has been violated when the alleged victim reports the contact.

Is breaking a no-contact order a felony?

No. Violating a no-contact order can cause your bond to be revoked and thereby cause you to spend the remaining time until your trial in jail.

Do no-contact orders apply across state lines?

Yes, the accused must not contact the alleged victim no matter where the alleged victim or accused lives.

Can a no-contact order be lifted in South Carolina?

Yes! No-contact orders can be modified by a court order or by a bond modification. This is not something that you should try to do yourself though, since no-contact orders are taken very seriously in SC. You need an attorney who has handled no-contact orders before to help you.

Get help from a lawyer

A no-contact order is just one part of a criminal case. Certainly, you need to understand what you can and cannot do as a result of your no-contact order. In addition, you need a CDV attorney to help you navigate the legal system. Contact Lori Murray at 803-779-4472, or complete this online form to schedule a consultation.

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