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Punishments for Violating Tennessee Law of Ex Parte or Order of Protection

1. An arrest can be made by law enforcement without a warrant and the offense need not occur in the officer's presence. Constructive notice or actual notice to the respondent is all that is required for an arrest if a violation occurs subsequent to constructive service.

2. The punishment for violating an ex parte or formal order of protection is sanctioned as either civil or criminal contempt with ten (10) days imprisonment and Fifty Dollar ($50) fine.

3. For any violation of an ex parte or formal order of protection or any domestic assault offense, the magistrate is required to issue an order granting bail in domestic abuse cases with conditions of release. Any violation of a condition of bail is punishable as contempt and the defendant's bail is subject to be revoked. If the defendant has committed any offense under the domestic violence statute the magistrate is required to issue a mandatory twelve (12) hour hold before the defendant can post bond unless the magistrate is convinced that sufficient time has elapsed or will have elapsed before the defendant makes bail to protect the victim of domestic abuse.

4. In most cases, the twelve (12) hour hold is going to be imposed almost every time unless the magistrate has or is given a reason to waive it. The twelve (12) hour hold will also apply to a violation of an Order of Protection. If the defendant has committed or even attempted to commit an assault while an ex parte or formal order if protection is in effect, the defendant shall be charged with aggravated assault which is a Class C Felony. The defendant can be charged with both a violation of the ex parte or formal order of protection and an aggravated assault for every single act or conduct without double jeopardy.

5. Tennessee does not statutorily recognize any defenses to violating an order of protection including the defense available in most states: that the petitioner initiated contact to the respondent. The responsibility always lies to respondent in Tennessee, however some courts will not find you in violation of an order of protection if the petitioner initiated contact. Remember, this is not a hard or fast rule.

If you have any questions about an Ex Parte or Formal Order of Protection, please contact Rob McKinney at 615-686-2115, via email or visit his website at www.mckinneylawfirm.com.

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