Common Questions about No Contact Orders in Indiana
No contact orders in Indiana are court orders, made during the course of a criminal proceeding, that require a criminal defendant to refrain from making direct or indirect contact with a protected person. While this concept may seem rather simple, it’s often misunderstood or mistaken for similar types of orders, including Indiana restraining orders (otherwise known as protective orders) or workplace violence restraining orders. To address some of these misconceptions and common mistakes, this article will address some common questions like, “How do I get a no contact order lifted in Indiana?” Is there a motion to lift no contact order form in Indiana? and “Are Indiana no contact orders the same as restraining orders?”
If you continue to have further questions about no contact orders in Indiana, or protective orders, the attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are available to speak with you and help you understand the legal context of your specific situation. Feel free to give us a call at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free case consultation with a member of our team.
What are No Contact Orders in Indiana?
No contact orders in Indiana are court orders requested by the prosecution in criminal cases, issued at the discretion of the presiding judge. They’re often issued as a condition of bail, bond, a criminal sentence or probation, and will remain in effect until the case is disposed of or the end of a sentence.
No contact orders require the criminal defendant to refrain from making direct or indirect contact, or be within sight of, a protected person, their residence, place of employment or school. Direct contact is generally accepted as being within the view of the protected person, as well as calling, texting, emailing, writing, or sending the person messages via a digital platform, such as a social media website or app. Indirect contact, on the other hand, refers to having a third party, at the direction of the defendant, relay a message to the protected person.
Some no contact orders in Indiana are issued automatically. As stated in Indiana Code 35-33-8-3.6, if defendant who is charged with committing a violent crime that results in bodily injury to a person is released to bail without holding a bail hearing in open court, the court shall include, as a condition of bail, that the defendant refrain from any direct or indirect contact with the victim for 10 days following their release or until the initial hearing, whichever occurs first. At the initial hearing, the court may decide to reinstate the Indiana no contact order or modify the condition that the defendant must refrain from direct or indirect contact with the protected person.
Per Indiana Code 35-46-1-15.1, a defendant found to be in violation of the no contact order commits the offense of invasion of privacy, which is a Class A Misdemeanor in Indiana. Furthermore, this charge can be elevated to a Level 6 Felony if the defendant has a previous, but unrelated conviction under this statute.
Are Indiana No Contact Orders the Same as Restraining Orders?
No, Indiana no contact orders are completely different than restraining orders. No contact orders are issued by the court as a product of criminal proceedings, whereas an Indiana restraining order (legally referred to as a protection order) is an injunction issued by a civil court, at the request of the petitioner (victim).
As defined in Indiana Code 34-6-2-121.6, a protection order prevents an individual from engaging in violent or threatening acts against; engaging in harassment of; engaging in contact or communication with; or being in physical proximity to another person, including temporary and final orders issued by civil and criminal courts.
The Indiana Civil Protection Order Act (ICPOA), located in Indiana Code 34-26-5, sets forth the procedure and requirements for filing a protective order as well as who can seek a protective order in Indiana. Under the ICPOA, the person who seeks a protective order is the petitioner and can include the victim of:
- Family or domestic violence
- A sex offense
- Assault or battery from a non-family member or domestic partner
- A person who is or has been subjected to repeated acts of harassment
If you find yourself in a situation where you may need to go to court regarding a protection order, you’ll want to retain the services of an Indiana protective order attorney who understands the law, can help you avoid pitfalls and safeguard your rights. The former deputy prosecutors at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have intimate knowledge of both Indiana law and Indiana courts and stand ready to assist you with any legal matters related to protection orders in Indiana.
How Do I Get a No Contact Order Lifted in Indiana?
Depending on the circumstances of the no contact order, one may have a no contact order placed upon them lifted by completing their sentence or probation or requesting that the prosecutor’s office file a motion or set a hearing where a request to lift the order can be made to the judge. The latter option best applies to situations where someone has been charged with domestic battery, and the victim does not feel that the no contact order is needed to maintain their safety.
When a victim of domestic violence doesn’t want an automatic no contact order to be placed upon the defendant, their first course of action should be to attend the initial hearing and inform the judge of their desires regarding the order. However, people often don’t realize the nature of no contact orders until after one has been made at the initial hearing. Given this, the next course action would be to contact the prosecutor and request that they file a motion to lift the no contact order in Indiana. If that request is not able to be granted, the victim could instead ask the prosecutor to set a hearing so that they could come into court and explain to the judge why the no contact order is unnecessary. If going through the prosecutor was unsuccessful, the victim could write a letter to the court explaining the request in a concise and formal manner. This action often causes the judge to contact the prosecutor or simply set a hearing to address the request.
While there are ways to get a no contact order lifted in Indiana, it’s important to remember that it has no effect on the charges pending against the defendant. The investigation will continue to progress, and the victim will still be required to testify truthfully in the case.
If you or your loved one is subject to a no contact order as a result of a domestic dispute, it’s best to contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney prior to contacting the prosecutor’s office or a judge. If you’d like to speak with an Indianapolis violent crime attorney today, call the Law Office of Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-857-0160. We can assist in getting the no contact order lifted in Indiana and/or fight the charges pending against the defendant.
Is There a Motion to Lift No Contact Order Form in Indiana?
No, there is not a motion to lift a no contact order form in Indiana. When people refer to a motion to lift a no contact order form in Indiana they most often are referring to the petitioner’s verified request for dismissal, form, which is used to request that the court dismiss a protective order. As noted, before, a protective order in Indiana is not in any way related to a no contact order. To get a no contact order lifted in Indiana, the protected person must contact the prosecutor or judge presiding over the case and explain why they feel that the no contact order is unnecessary. In situations where a no contact order has been made as a condition of one’s sentence or probation, a no contact order may be lifted only when the sentence has been completed.
Subject to a No Contact Order in Indiana?
If you’re subject to a no contact order in Indiana and require the services of a criminal defense attorney, the team at Keffer Hirschauer LLP is available to assist you. Our founders, Bradley Keffer and Tom Hirschauer III, are both former prosecutors who understand both sides of the criminal justice system. They know all of the local courts in Indianapolis, as well as those across the state, and have extensive experience in negotiation as well as inside the courtroom. Our well-respected law firm takes a teamwork-based approach to criminal defense cases, meaning that your Indiana defense attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP will have ample resources to thoroughly investigate your case and see it through to the best possible outcome. To speak with an attorney today call the Law Office of Keffer Hirschauer LLP at 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free case consultation.