What happens when you violate a Temporary Protective Order (“TPO”) (or a “restraining order”) in Georgia depends on various circumstances surrounding the violation. TPO violation in Georgia could have serious consequences, including criminal prosecution.

What does violation of TPO mean?

A party who does not abide by the terms of the TPO may have violated the TPO. For example, it may be a violation of the no contact language of a TPO when the defendant sends a text message to a mutual friend of the defendant and plaintiff asking that mutual friend to relay a message to the plaintiff.

TPO Violation in Ga

A typical TPO in Georgia will generally have a no contact or stay away order in the TPO.

For example, a TPO might contain the following: “Respondent is ordered not to have any contact, direct, indirect or through another person with Petitioner, by telephone, fax, e-mail or any other means of communication except as specified in this Order.” If the defendant sends a text message to the plaintiff asking how the plaintiff is doing, this may be a violation of the no-contact language.

Violation of a TPO in Georgia could result in both civil and criminal issues, such as contempt and criminal prosecution.

Contempt

A TPO in Georgia is a civil court order. So, if a party willfully or intentionally violates any terms of the TPO, that party could be found in contempt.

Criminal prosecution

Depending on the circumstances, a person who violates a TPO in Georgia may be charged with misdemeanor violation of a TPO or felony aggravated stalking. Criminal prosecution may occur in addition to civil remedies.

Extension of TPO

Violation of a TPO in Georgia may result in the TPO being extended. Generally, if a TPO is granted, the TPO will be in effect for 12 months. The petitioner may file a motion with the court to request that the 12-month TPO be changed to a three-year TPO or a permanent one.  

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