Protective Orders vs. No Contact Orders: What Is the Difference?

Understanding the nuances between a Protective Order (PO) and a No Contact Order is crucial, as they serve distinct purposes in legal proceedings and carry different implications if violated. This overview aims to clarify the distinctions between Civil Protective Orders and No Contact Orders in Indiana

Protective Orders, commonly referred to as POs, are civil remedies sought by individuals to safeguard themselves against harassment or stalking. Initiated through a civil lawsuit, POs are a form of injunctive relief aimed at preventing future harm rather than penalizing past actions. Governed by statutes like the Indiana Civil Protection Order Act (ICPOA), POs prohibit harassing, threatening, or stalking behavior directed towards the victim. 

Contrary to popular belief fueled by media portrayals, POs don't universally mandate specific physical distances between parties. Instead, they are tailored to the circumstances of each case, focusing on restraining unwanted contact. For example, if you have a child with the individual that you have a protective order against, this does not necessarily preclude all contact from that person. Depending on subsequent Court orders, you may be required to communicate with your co-parent through a monitored smartphone application regarding child-related matters – such as OurFamilyWizard. 

In contrast, No Contact Orders stem from criminal proceedings, where a prosecutor will request judges to impose restrictions on defendants awaiting trial. This often happens in cases of domestic abuse. These orders prohibit any form of contact between the defendant and the victim, often accompanying the defendant's release from custody on bond.

Protective orders stemming from a civil lawsuit, No Contact Orders stemming from a criminal case, and a family law case could all be occurring at the same time with different judges – sometimes, even in different counties. It is imperative that you have legal counsel that is able to effectively ‘juggle’ all three (or more) of these cases as the outcomes often times are inextricably linked with your long-term legal goals. 

Whether it's a Civil Protective Order or a Criminal No Contact Order, breaching either carries severe penalties, including potential criminal charges, incarceration, or the revocation of bail terms pending trial. Given their prevalence in domestic disputes, confusion between these orders is common. Both aim to shield victims of domestic violence, albeit through different legal mechanisms.

It is essential to seek personalized legal guidance for specific cases. If you find yourself involved in a No Contact Order or Protective Order – whether on the defensive or offensive side – it is crucial to consult with experienced attorneys regarding your options. The attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. are experienced with these matters and able to assist. This blog is not intended to serve as legal advice.


Quick Contact

Need to talk now? Fill out the quick form below and we will contact you directly.

What Our Clients Say About Us

Contact Us