A no contact order is often attached to a domestic violence charge common in assault charges. Lawyers know it as an “NCO”.
Here is a hypothetical scenario:
Let’s say you’re the victim, but you’re the one who is worried about this legal situation, and you’re the one who wants to fix it. You have a verbal fight with your girlfriend and things get out of hand. Suddenly, she snaps and she scratches you. You get cut and start to bleed. You are upset, drunk, angry, and you call the police. The police come and you tell the police that your girlfriend scratched you. She is drunk. You are drunk. The police interview the girlfriend, and she admits to having scratched you causing the blood. She gets arrested, booked, but released from jail and now has a court date. During the arraignment (usually within 72 hours or within 3 days of being arrested and/or booked into jail), it is likely the prosecutor will request an NCO no contact order and the judge will approve it. To your total dismay, you ask the judge to erase or cancel out the no contact order but the prosecutor refuses and the judge refuses.
In legal language in Washington State, this is called requesting to ‘lift’ a no contact order. The reason why an NCO is so important is because you cannot see your girlfriend (in this hypothetical) unless the no contact order is lifted. Sometimes and quite often, even if you come to the court in tears saying you were wrong to have called the police, the court judge will refuse to remove the no contact order until and unless your girlfriend does dv treatment, that is domestic violence treatment and works with a domestic violence counselor who can recommend to the court (often after several sessions of counseling with your girlfriend), and even still, it is not guaranteed that the judge will remove it. Remember, the judge is the judge, and the judge has the ultimate say. The buck stops at the judge.
Still, if she as a very good negotiator, a very good attorney who knows how to negotiate a case, sometimes she can get the NCO removed.
Even if you were to get the no contact order removed, the case isn’t over. Your girlfriend has to now fight the actual criminal charge of the Assault. Now it’s absolutely critical she has a lawyer who knows these types of cases, who can try the case to a jury if necessary. Negotiation skills are so absolutely critical in these cases, and when and if negotiations fall through, she will need an attorney who can put it to the prosecutor and let the prosecutor know that the defense attorney has no fear whatsoever of fighting the case all the way towards a jury verdict. This is the type of attorney she will want to hire.
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