What is a no-contact order?

Judges usually issue a no-contact order in New Hampshire after a criminal arrest or conviction on domestic abuse charges. If the defendant tries to contact the attack victim, the order imposes harsh penalties, including jail time.


The legislation compels the court to consider whether to issue a court order prohibiting the defendant from having contact with the alleged victim whenever a person is arrested or charged with domestic violence. A “No Contact Order” is what it’s called. It’s a standard order with big wording that includes restrictive terms and cautions.

  • If the order is issued, the defendant may be barred from contacting the alleged victim directly or through third parties.
  • The injunction may forbid the defendant from contacting the alleged victim at home, workplace, or wherever the alleged victim is.
  • The defendant may be barred from having contact with their own home under the terms of the order.

A defendant is strongly advised to strictly adhere to a No Contact Order. A new and extra charge can be issued against the defendant if a domestic violence no-contact order is breached. Violation can potentially lead to instant detention.


A no-contact order cannot continue longer than the criminal accusation unless there is a conviction. After that, the no-contact order is no longer enforced and is terminated if a charge is dismissed.

While a criminal case is still pending, a no-contact order might be lifted or modified. A prosecutor and defendant may reach an agreement to ask the judge to lift the no-contact order jointly. The alleged victim may also request that the no-contact order be terminated or modified.

The order may be canceled or modified if a judge determines that the claimed victim is safe. Sometimes, the order will be modified only to allow reasonable visitation with the parties’ children.


The claimed victim’s support is nearly always required when modifying or terminating a no-contact order. Even then, the Court may not agree to lift the order if it believes the defendant poses a risk.

The judge may maintain the no-contact order but grant exceptions for certain sorts of contact. When there are kids involved, the court may permit communication between the parents in order to discuss the children or schedule visits with them. The court may enable the parents to be in close proximity to one other to exchange children for visits. Finally, the court may allow the parties to communicate solely through electronic means.

Even if the exception appears to be harmless and safe, the court may object to any change to the order.

Modifications are more common than terminations. In the following conditions, terminations are more likely to occur:

  • The charge is dismissed or dropped.
  • The case has been closed.
  • The victim favors the injunction being lifted, and the judge believes it is safe to do so.
  • The defendant has undergone some type of therapy or counseling.
  • The prosecution agrees that the no-contact order should be lifted.

You can file a Motion to Modify (alter) or Terminate (end) your No Contact Order with the court. The Clerk will establish a court date at which time the judge will determine whether to modify or terminate the order when you return to court.

If you need assistance with a no contact order laws or criminal law, contact us. Our experienced criminal law team can help you get fair representation

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