Law Office of Michael L. Fell
900 Roosevelt Irvine, CA 92620
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Is it Possible to Violate a Restraining Order Via Social Media?

Restraining orders are issued by the courts when a person feels that they’re in danger from another person. This danger could be physical or it could be emotional. It could involve harassment, stalking, and other activities. If you’ve been issued a restraining order then it should specify how far away from the individual you need to stay. Not following those rules can lead to fines and jail time – but what if you don’t fully understand the rules?

At Law Office of Michael L. Fell, we highly recommend that you contact a criminal defense attorney if you’re not 100% sure what your restraining order requires. In most cases, it requires “no contact,” which includes any and all contact whether in person or online. But does that include social media? Read on to get the answers and then contact (949) 585-9055 with additional questions.

Do restraining orders cover contact via Facebook?

As social media has become something that most everyone uses, the courts have had to change what is considered to be “contact.” Various courts across the country have decided that interacting with a person on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms does indeed violate the terms of a restraining order. This includes both sending private messages to the person and tagging that person in a post.

Examples of court cases involving restraining orders and social media

More than seven years ago, a court found that when a person “pokes” someone on Facebook, that’s a type of communication that is covered by a restraining order. In this case, there was a woman who had been named in a restraining order and was sending digital pokes to the person under protection. The court said that her poking was indeed a method of communication, on account of the fact that it required deliberating selection a person and reaching out to them.

Another case just last year involved a person tagging another person on Facebook. The courts found that tagging someone is indeed a violation of a restraining order on account of the fact that it is contact. This case involved a woman tagging the person she’d been issued a restraining order from, calling that person stupid, and making other negative comments. The court said that when a protective order includes the language that a person can’t be contacted “by electronic or any other means” that it’s inclusive of social media.

Have you been accused of violating a restraining order?

If you’ve been accused of violating a restraining order then it’s time to contact a criminal defense attorney. Law Office of Michael L. Fell is here to help you find the best defense options. Whether it’s to negotiate a lower consequence or to show that you didn’t commit the violation in the first place, we are here to help. Our offices will treat you with respect and dignity and are ready to hear your side of the story. Call us today at (949) 585-9055 to request your free legal consultation.