If you’re like most people, you do a lot through social media. If you have a restraining order against you, however, you may want to consider logging off until your court case is over – particularly if you have any temptation to peep in on the other party’s page or send them a message.
People often don’t realize just how easy it is to violate a restraining order. “No contact” with the accusing party really means “no contact at all.”
How much trouble can you get into for a like, a poke or a message?
It turns out that there’s a long-established precedent for prosecuting people who violate a restraining order through Facebook – even in the simplest of ways.
Way back in 2009, a Tennessee woman was arrested for sending a virtual “poke” via Facebook to a woman that had a protection order against her. There have been numerous instances around the country of a similar nature, where so much as a “like” on an old post (which you may accidentally click as your thumbing through someone’s post can become a crime.
Quite recently, an Indiana man was arrested for the violation of protective order after reaching out to the other party via Facebook Messenger in an apparent attempt to induce them to recant so that the charges would be dropped.
Here’s the thing: If you’ve been accused of domestic violence and there’s a temporary restraining order (TRO), you haven’t been convicted of anything yet. If you violate the TRO, however, you are automatically guilty of a crime. The violation of the court’s order is serious – and it will probably have a negative effect on your pending domestic violence charges.
Do yourself a favor: Get experienced legal guidance and get entirely off social media if you don’t think you can avoid even so much as a quick look at the other party’s account.