Social Media And No Contact Orders: What To Know

Using social media has become a habit for nearly everyone. It's entertaining and relaxing to comment on posts, post about your day, and tag people you know to get their attention. However, social media is also considered a form of contact that your restraining order may not have mentioned. Read on and find out more.

Understanding a Restraining Order

This order from the judge restricts the ways a person may contact another. Retraining orders are initially temporary in most cases. After a hearing, though, they can be made more permanent. However, they can expire, and the victim can remove the order if they wish. Usually, a restraining order is there to protect an alleged victim from an alleged perpetrator. It usually follows an arrest for physical or sexual assault, but threats can also form the basis for such an order.

The order should be read and understood as it spells out the limits on contact. It might specify staying several feet away from the victim, their home, their children, etc. Usually, the victim also cannot be contacted by phone, texting, or email.

Though not specifically mentioned in the order, tagging the victim or posting on their account might also be considered a violation of the restraining order. Violations of this nature might depend more on the nature of the message or tagging than the actual act. For example, threats and the like aimed at the victim on social media are more likely to cause an arrest for the violation.

What to Do

When you are accused of a violation of a restraining order, you may be arrested and charged. This is a serious matter, and you must speak to a criminal defense lawyer for help in defending yourself. Your lawyer will address your defense using several methods. Take these for example:

  • You didn't know you were violating the restraining order. You might not have received the paperwork and thus you had no way of knowing about the order. Thus, you unknowingly violated the order when using social media.
  • You knew about the restraining order but accidentally tagged or posted. It's easy to accidentally click something you did not mean to. For example, perhaps someone with the same first name as the victim was tagged and you accidentally allowed the autofill to insert the wrong name.

What you posted about or the post that you tagged will matter a great deal when it comes time to defend your actions. If it's an innocent mistake, you might get released with a warning to be more careful. Speak to a criminal defense lawyer to find out more.