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Violating protective order can result in additional penalties

For some Tennesseans, it doesn't take much to spark a domestic dispute. Whether it's related to money, infidelity or simply butting personalities, heated exchanges can take place. When lines are crossed and these arguments become physical in nature, criminal charges may follow. Typically, along with domestic assault charges come protective orders. It is important that those who have been accused of domestic violence understand what these protective orders entail, as violating them can constitute another criminal offense.

Under Tennessee law, a protection order can enact a lot of restrictions on an accused individual. First, the court will likely order that the individual refrain from engaging any sort of domestic violence, stalking and threatening against the protected individual. Second, the order may state that the respondent is disallowed from making any sort of contact with the protected individual, whether it be in person, via phone or through social media.

Finally, an accused individual may be forced to leave the residence where the protected person resides. If the accused individual is the sole owner of the residence, then the court may order him or her to provide alternative housing to the protected individual.

The order may not stop there. A protective order can also affect child custody, visitation and even financial support. A court may also order the accused to obtain domestic violence counseling. The protective order may even specify that the protected person is to take control of family pets.

While some of these orders may sound obviously justifiable and others not so much, the fact remains that the courts take these orders seriously. Violating them can cause an individual to be charged with a new offense, which could result in more penalties, including jail time. With that in mind, those who are accused of committing domestic assault may want to speak with a criminal defense attorney. Taking this step could help them put together a strategy aimed at protecting their legal rights and their future.

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