Legal Question in Criminal Law in Virginia

If you have a past plea agreement you signed in relation to a domestic violence case and it lists as one of its mandates that you have no contact for 2 years with your spouse and then you violate that plea agreement by going back home to your spouse and are caught and have another court case while in jail with yet another plea agreement that stipulates no abusive contact with your spouse Can you have contact with your spouse then or no? These court cases are in the state of Virginia. Does the new plea deal take precedence over the one before as far as the contact goes?

Asked on 8/30/19, 7:04 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jonathon Moseley Jonathon A. Moseley

It really depends on clarity and intent.

If the judge clearly knew about the previous conditions and knowingly wrote new terms for the no-contact order, then the new order would supersede the old one.

For example, was there actual evidence presented or argument made ot the judge why the terms should be changed? If you can show that the question of the correct wording of the no-contact order was discussed with the judge and the judge knowingly changed the terms -- for example it was argued that some contact is necessary for x, y , z reasons and only "abusive" contact should be prohibited, then the judge knowingly, intentionally, changed the terms of the earlier order, and the new terms would control.

But if you cannot show that the judge intended to change the order, then you would be taking a risk in violating the terms of the old order because the new order is different.

It would probably be a good idea to go back to court with a motion to clarify it and ask the judge if that's what the judge meant.

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Answered on 8/30/19, 10:43 pm

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