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Can You Violate Your Restraining Order Through Social Media?

Social media has become an important part of everyone’s life, from sharing your deepest thoughts to posting your vacation pictures. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become integral in staying connected with friends, family, and other loved ones. However, if you have a restraining order in New Jersey against you, it is better to think twice about using social media. 

It is not illegal to use social media with a restraining order. However, the activities you do there can pose legal problems for you. Hire an attorney today to understand how social media can negatively impact your case. 

Does a restraining order include social media contact?

If the protected person has issued a no-contact order against you, you are legally prohibited from making physical, verbal, or virtual contact with them. Virtual contact includes hitting them up on social media. Restriction on social media is not only limited to sending texts or making calls. If you are under a restraining order, you are not allowed to like their posts, comment on them, “poke” them on Facebook, tag their accounts, or send them a friend request. 

A no-contact order in New Jersey means you must not make them feel aware of your existence in any way, no matter if it poses harm to them or not. There are many real-life examples of people being arrested and jailed for liking and poking the protected person on social media. 

More real-life cases of restraining order violations through social media

  • In 2009, a woman in Tennessee was arrested for “poking” another woman on Facebook who had issued the protective order. The court said that a digital poke is a means of communication. 
  • A woman in Beverly was arrested for using her Pinterest account to keep an eye on her daughter, who had filed an order against her. The girl had made the complaint when she received a notification on her Pinterest account. 
  • In 2016, a woman who was ordered not to contact her sister-in-law was arrested because she tagged the latter in a Facebook post. 
  • In 2015, a man who was prohibited from contacting his ex-girlfriend violated the order by trying to follow her on Instagram. It later led to criminal charges. 

Contact an attorney

If you have a restraining order against you and you are thinking of reaching out to the person through social media, it is a terrible idea. Instead, contact a reputed law firm and hire an attorney. An expert will know what to do and protect you from making costly mistakes.

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