What Happens If You Violate a Restraining Order? - Zukerman Law

What Happens If You Violate a Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a legal injunction issued by a court to protect individuals from harassment, abuse, or threats. These orders are critical in safeguarding the well-being of those at risk, and violating them can lead to severe legal repercussions.
Understanding the gravity of adhering to the conditions of a restraining order is essential, as any breach can result in significant consequences, including arrest, fines, and even imprisonment.
Navigating the complexities of restraining order cases can be daunting, especially when facing potential violations. This is where the expertise of a seasoned legal team becomes invaluable. Zukerman Law Group, with its extensive experience and proven track record, stands out as a leading authority in handling such cases. We are dedicated to providing robust legal support and ensuring that the rights and interests of our clients are protected at every step.
In this article, we will explore what happens if you violate a restraining order, the legal process that ensues, and the critical role that Zukerman Law Group can play in guiding you through these challenging circumstances.

What Is a Violation of a Restraining Order?

What Is a Violation of a Restraining Order?

Restraining orders have terms that vary based on the specifics of each case. Generally, such orders typically require one party to maintain a distance from and avoid contacting the victim or protected individual.
This order encompasses avoiding any criminal acts against the protected person. Additionally, the court may impose orders for specific actions that a party must undertake. Not obeying the terms of the order, whether it’s to do or not do something, is a violation.
Violation of a “no contact” order typically is any form of interaction with the protected party. This includes in-person meetings, written correspondence, online communication, phone calls, electronic messaging, or communication through intermediaries.
Similarly, “stay away” orders typically prohibit approaching the protected person’s residence, workplace, or school. Even if the protected individual initiates contact or invites communication, responding could still constitute a violation.
Furthermore, any communication or interaction that involves criminal behavior is strictly prohibited. Examples of such violations include threats, harassment, stalking, or physical assault.
Other common violations of restraining orders involve failing to adhere to specific terms outlined in the order. For instance, in cases involving domestic abuse, the order may require one party to vacate a shared residence while continuing to meet financial obligations such as household bills and insurance payments.
Failure to vacate or neglect financial responsibilities would be considered a violation of the order. Additionally, a court might mandate attendance at programs like anger management or substance abuse counseling. Many restraining orders also forbid the possession of firearms by the defendant, and failure to comply with these restrictions also constitutes a violation.

Typical Consequences for Restraining Order Violation

Typical Consequences for Restraining Order Violation

The restraining order should specify the consequences and potential penalties for violating it. A violation can result in an arrest and possibly a conviction.

Arrest Without a Warrant

When someone intentionally disobeys a restraining order, they could be taken into custody and face legal consequences. Many state laws authorize law enforcement officers to arrest a person without a warrant if the officer reasonably believes that the person violated the order.

Jail Hold

In many states, law enforcement is mandated to take the suspect (suspected of violating a restraining order) into custody rather than issuing a citation on-site. Additionally, state law may specify a minimum duration (often several hours or more) for which the suspect must remain in custody before potential release.
If there is concern that the suspect poses a threat to the victim or the public, or if there is a risk of the suspect failing to appear in court, the law may prevent immediate release and require a judicial hearing. Some states consistently mandate a court appearance before any release for suspected violations of restraining orders.
Moreover, law enforcement typically needs to inform the victim in advance about the suspect’s bail hearing or release proceedings.

Setting Bail Amounts and Conditions

Many states utilize bail schedules to establish predetermined bail amounts for specific crimes. In cases involving a restraining order violation, this bail amount could range from $5,000 to $10,000 or more. Even in the absence of a formal bail schedule, judges may decide on a higher bail amount due to concerns regarding the safety of the victim and the public. A suspected violation of a restraining order is often perceived as posing a significant safety risk.
Judges also have the authority to impose bail conditions aimed at safeguarding the victim and preventing further contact or harm. For example, conditions may include requiring the suspect to wear a GPS ankle monitor or prohibiting them from possessing firearms, as well as from consuming alcohol or drugs. Additionally, a judge might order the suspect to surrender all firearms or pay a bond to the court, which would be forfeited in the event of another violation of the restraining order.

Additional Consequences of Violating a Restraining Order

Violating a restraining order can lead to more than just probation, jail time, and fines. There are several additional consequences associated with violating a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order:

  • Potential suspension of your driver’s license.
  • Suspension or revocation of professional or occupational licenses, potentially damaging your long-term professional reputation due to the PFA violation.
  • Complications in progressing with immigration or citizenship applications.
  • Impact on crucial matters such as child custody battles and divorces.
  • Damage to personal reputation.
  • Challenges in securing future employment, among other potential repercussions.
How Can Zukerman Law Group Help?

How Can Zukerman Law Group Help?

Zukerman Law Group specializes in providing comprehensive legal support for individuals facing issues related to restraining orders. We offer professional guidance and representation throughout the entire legal process, ensuring that our clients’ rights are protected and our interests are advocated for effectively.
We assist clients in understanding the complexities of restraining orders, including the specific terms and conditions that must be followed to avoid violations. Our professionals provide strategic advice on how to comply with the order while navigating any legal challenges that may arise.
For individuals seeking assistance with restraining order issues, Zukerman Law Group offers accessible contact options and consultation details. Prospective clients can easily reach out to schedule a consultation, during which they can discuss their case, receive personalized legal advice, and explore their options moving forward.


Remember, a restraining order is a serious legal matter. Violating it can have lasting consequences. If you have been served with a restraining order, it’s crucial to understand your rights and options. Don’t navigate this challenging situation alone.
Zukerman Law Group is here for you. Our team of skilled legal professionals has extensive experience handling restraining order cases. We can provide you with the legal guidance and support you need during this difficult time. Contact Zukerman Law Group today for a free consultation to discuss your specific situation.


  • 1- What happens if you break a restraining order in Canada?1

    In Canada, violating a restraining order is a criminal offense and can lead to arrest, fines, and even jail time. It can also seriously impact your life, making it harder to get a gun, affecting child custody, and causing problems with employment or housing.

  • 2- Can you get in trouble for being around someone you have a restraining order against?1

    If you obtain a restraining order against someone, the court orders that individual to avoid specific actions such as abusing you, contacting you, or approaching within a designated distance. Violating the restraining order constitutes a criminal offense.

There were no results that matched your search.

Stuart Zukerman

Stuart Zukerman, a graduate of the University of British Columbia, has over 32 years of experience in litigation with a focus on Family Law, Personal Injury, Wrongful Dismissal claims, and Collaborative Divorce & Mediation. He has extensive trial experience in divorce, child custody, spousal support, asset division, and ICBC injury claims. As an accredited Family Law Mediator, he helps resolve disputes without court intervention. Stuart has also authored papers on family law and lectured at CLE courses.