No Contact Order

After an arrest for domestic violence, the person accused of the crime will be held in jail without the ability to post bond until the first appearance in front of the judge. The first appearance hearing usually occurs within 24 hours of the arrest. If the person was booked into the jail after midnight, they must wait an extra day before seeing the judge.

In Tampa, FL, the first appearance hearing might occur at 9 a.m. in courtroom 17 (enter the main courthouse at 800 East Twiggs Street, Tampa, FL), but call the jail to confirm the time.

At first appearance, the judge will provide the defendant with a “Standard No Contact Order.” The judge will tell the defendant that he or she can have “no contact” with the alleged victim.

The “no contact” provision effectively puts the defendant in a “time out.” During that time, the parties can focus on themselves and the best ways to improve their situation. The “no contact” provision might also prevent any further allegations while the charges are pending.

In many of these cases, the accused is married to the alleged victim, and the parties might have children together. One or both sides might want the “no contact” provision lifted. Unfortunately, the court might refuse to prove any relief. Of course, once the charges are dropped or resolved, that pre-trial “no contact” provision is eliminated.

Remember to NEVER talk with the alleged victim or other witnesses about the case about “dropping the charges” or “lifting the no contact order.” The authorities might consider those conversations a form of witness tampering, a serious criminal offense.

An experienced criminal defense attorney is best positioned to help you through the process so that the “no contact” provision can be lifted quickly when appropriate. Most importantly, a criminal defense attorney can help you fight for an outright dismissal of the charges. Be careful not to violate the “no contact” provision in any way while it is in effect.

Any violation could result in you being held with “no bond” until the case is resolved. If you contact the alleged victim, either directly or indirectly, you might be charged with a violation of the pretrial release conditions, which is a separate criminal offense that comes with additional punishments.

Modifying the “No Contact” Order in Tampa, FL

An experienced criminal defense attorney in Tampa, FL, can file a “Motion to Modify Conditions of Release and Lift the No Contact Order.” The goal is to get the court to modify the “no contact” provision to “no violent” contact.

Then, the attorney can fight the criminal charges to get the prosecutor to drop them or the judge to dismiss them. If getting the case dismissed before trial is not possible, the attorney prepares the case for a jury trial.

If you are charged with domestic violence, be especially careful not to violate the letter or spirit of the “no contact” provision. No contact means no contact of any kind, even through a third party. Any violation can mean that you will be held no bond during the remainder of the case.

If you are charged with the serious offense of domestic violence, contact an experienced attorney for domestic violence battery cases in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL. From our second office in New Port Richey, FL, we represent men and women accused of domestic violence in Pasco County, FL.

Call (813) 250-0500.

Questions Asked Before the “No Contact” Order is Lifted

The courts in Florida have become more hesitant to modify the “no contact” order while the case is pending. The courts often read questions from a script while questioning the alleged victim about the facts of the case. Those questions might include:

  1. What is your name?
  2. How do you know the Defendant (the person accused of domestic violence)?
  3. How long have you known the Defendant?
  4. Are you married?
  5. If not, how are you related? (By blood, by marriage, boyfriend, girlfriend, former live-in lovers, have children together, dating, parent, child, sibling, etc?)
  6. If you have children together, what are their names and ages?
  7. Did any child witness the incident of alleged violence?
  8. Are you the custodian of the children?
  9. Does anyone else have custody of the children?
  10. Is the Child Protective Investigations (CPI) Division of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office involved?
  11. Is a child safety plan in place?
  12. Was CPI involved before these allegations?
  13. What are the terms of the “child safety plan”?
  14. Did you file for an injunction or protective order against domestic violence?
  15. Were you told to file for an injunction or protective order against domestic violence by any Child Protective Investigator?
  16. Are you receiving any counseling or other services put in place by CPI?
  17. Did you call the police or know who did?
  18. Did you speak to the police?
  19. What did you tell the police?
  20. Did you tell the police – 1. [first statement in the police report attributed to the alleged victim]].
  21. Did you tell the police – 2. [second statement in the police report attributed to the alleged victim, etc…]]
  22. Did you tell the police the truth?
  23. Are there any prior incidents of domestic violence between you and the defendant?
  24. Does the defendant have any prior record?
  25. Are you scared of the defendant?

In many cases, the alleged victim is asked these questions before reading the police report or knowing what statements are attributed to them. In some cases, the alleged victim should invoke their right to remain silent if they can not truthfully answer any question without incriminating themselves.

For this reason, it might be better to leave the “no contact” provision in place while the criminal defense attorney finds the best way to fight the charges or get the charges dismissed.

An attorney can help you determine the pros and cons of filing a motion to modify the “no contact” provision and the best way to handle the motion when it is filed.

What is the No Contact Order in a Domestic Violence Case?

On October 9, 2023, Chief Judge Christopher Sabella signed Administrative Order S-2023-048 on the Standard No-Contact Order. The new administrative order is intended to comply with recent amendments to section 903.047 regarding pretrial release conditions.

If the case has a “victim,” the automatic and standard “no contact” provision will be imposed. The prohibition is absolute until modified by the court.

The order handed out to the accused person does not even discuss the procedure for seeking a “motion to modify” the no-contact provision as set out in 903.047(2).

 903.047 Conditions of pretrial release. –

(2) Upon motion by the defendant when bail is set, or upon later motion properly noticed pursuant to law, the court may modify the condition required by paragraph (1)(b) if good cause is shown and the interests of justice so require. The victim shall be permitted to be heard at any proceeding in which such modification is considered, and the state attorney shall notify the victim of the provisions of this subsection and of the pendency of any such proceeding.

Under other provisions of Section 903.047, the court must impose a Standard No Contact Order in all criminal cases involving a victim. The Standard No Contact Order provides defendants with written notice of “no contact” meaning and has immediate effect and enforceability.

Under the new administrative order in Hillsborough County, all defendants arrested for a criminal offense involving a victim and released from custody on pretrial release are hereby subject to the Standard No Contact Order.

In accordance with section 903.047(1)(b), Florida Statutes, each defendant identified in section 1 of this administrative order must receive a copy of the Standard No Contact Order before being released from custody on pretrial release. Additionally, the terms of the no-contact order do not prohibit an attorney for the defendant, consistent with the rules regulating The Florida Bar, from communicating with any person protected by the no-contact order for lawful purposes.

This Standard No Contact Order does not prevent the Court from imposing additional conditions of release on a case-by-case basis.






  1. No Contact. As a condition of being released from jail, YOU, as the defendant, are ordered to have NO CONTACT with the person named as the victim(s) in the police report in this case. YOU are not allowed to have any type of contact with the victim. The term “NO CONTACT” means the following:
    • A. YOU MUST NOT communicate by speaking or by writing, either in person, telephonically, electronically, or in any other manner, either directly or indirectly through somebody else, with the victim or any other person named in the order.
    • B. YOU MUST NOT have physical or violent contact with the victim or other named person or her or his property.
    • C. YOU MUST NOT be within 500 feet of the victim’s or other named person’s residence, even if YOU and the victim(s) or other named person(s) share the residence.
    • D. YOU MUST NOT be within 500 feet of the victim’s or other named person’s vehicle, place of employment, or a specified place at which the victim is frequently there.
    • E. YOU MUST NOT contact the victim(s) by e-mail, text, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Pinterest, or any other social media platform.
    • F. YOU MUST NOT have anyone, including your children , send messages to the victim(s).
    • G. YOU MUST NOT do anything that intimidates the victim(s) in any way.
  2. Personal Belongings in Domestic Violence Cases. If you are arrested for a domestic violence offense and you previously resided with the victim, you may return to the victim’s residence to obtain personal belongings ONLY if a police officer or sheriff’s deputy is with you. Going to the victim’s home or remaining at the home without the police or sheriff means that YOU CAN BE ARRESTED.
  3. Children in Common. If you and the victim have children together, at your request, the court may decide that an appropriate third person may contact the victim for the sole purpose of helping you have contact with the children.
  4. Attorney Contact. This order does not prohibit your attorney, consistent with the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, from communicating with the victim(s) for lawful purposes.

This order is effective immediately and is enforceable for the entire time of your pretrial release or until it is changed in writing by the judge. This order does not prevent the judge from imposing additional conditions of release on a case-bycase basis. THE VICTIM(S) CANNOT TAKE BACK THIS ORDER. EVEN IF THE VICTIM(S) WOULD LIKE TO HAVE CONTACT WITH YOU, YOU MUST NOT HAVE ANY CONTACT WITH THE VICTIM(S) UNLESS THE JUDGE CHANGES THIS ORDER IN WRITING.

DONE and ORDERED in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, this 30th day of October, 2023.


Christopher C. Sabella, Chief Judge



  • Assistant State Attorney
  • Assistant Public Defender or Retained Private Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Bondsman
  • Alleged Victim
  • Defendant (Booking #2023-______) via HCJ –

This article was last updated on Thursday, October 19, 2023.