Beware: Third Party Contact is Still Contact

If a person has an active No Contact Order (‘NCO’) in place they would be wise not to violate it. A violation of a no contact order is a crime in Washington State, and an NCO can be violated even if contact with the ‘protected person’ is through a third party. Such was the case in State v. Cardenas-Padilla, which was upheld by the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III last month.

In State v. Cardenas-Padilla, the defendant was convicted and sentenced to 14 months incarceration for a series of text messages that he sent to his former mother-in-law in an attempt to reach her daughter, his ex-wife, who was the protected party in a no-contact order involving Cardenas-Padilla.

The facts are pretty straight forward, Cardenas-Padilla and his ex-wife had been divorced, and a no-contact order was issued against Cardenas-Padilla on behalf of his former wife. The two shared an 18-month-old daughter in common. In late December 2012, the defendant sent a letter by the US Postal Service to his former mother-in-law requesting that she ask his ex-wife to delete a social media profile page created for the couple’s child. Approximately a month later, Cardenas-Padilla sent between 25 and 30 text messages to his ex-mother-in-law. In the text messages that he sent, he was reportedly asking for her assistance in convincing his ex-wife to talk to him and possibly reconcile. Shortly thereafter, Cardenas-Padilla was put under arrest for three counts of violating a no-contact order under RCW 26.50.110(5). Jurors ultimately found the defendant, Cardenas-Padilla, guilty on two counts of violating a no contact order, and the defendant was ordered to serve 14 months confinement, with credit for the seven months he had already served. He was also ordered to pay a monetary fine and fees.

The Cardenas-Padilla case is a stark reminder that violations of an order of protection are taken very seriously in Washington, even if the contact is not made directly with the protected party. If cited for an NCO violation it is imperative to immediately contact a Seattle domestic violence attorney to protect your rights and interests. Protecting the rights and the interests of those accused of committing crime is what SQ Attorneys does. The Seattle domestic violence attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle domestic violence lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether cited for assault, property destruction or some other domestic violence related crime, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately.

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10.0Gregory Wayne Schwesinger
10.0Saad Qamer Qadri