Read EVERY Word of Your Court Order and Follow It

The civil and criminal court systems in Washington state can be overwhelming for anyone. If you have been handed a court order for the first time in your life, we understand what you’re going through.

Whether you’ve been given a no-contact order, restraining order, or protection order, the first thing you need to do is read the order. Read it carefully. Read it thoroughly. Read it several times. And, to make sure you abide by the court’s order, ask a Washington state attorney to interpret the order for you.

Common Court-Ordered Actions

Someone wrapped up in the court system can be made subject to a number of court orders. Criminal defendants who were granted bail by a judge likely must abide by several conditions, including: 

  • Refraining from any (further) alleged criminal activity;
  • Giving up firearms and weapons;
  • Maintaining gainful employment;
  • Keeping a certain distance from the alleged victim’s home, work, or school;
  • Submitting to regular drug and/or alcohol testing; and
  • Keeping to a regular curfew.

If you are subject to the bail conditions above and violate any of those conditions, the judge may revoke your bail and order you to stay in jail until the disposition of your case. An important thing to know is that your bail order is far from the only type of court order that may compel you to do something or forbid you from doing something. 

Other court orders commonly handed down in a Washington state civil or criminal case include (but are not limited to): 

  • Order for Protection: This civil court order is most often used in conjunction with domestic violence, harassment, stalking, and sexual assault cases. It typically prohibits alleged abusers from contacting the victim and going to the victim’s home. An order for protection can also set temporary child custody and visitation schedules. Many people mistake this order with a restraining order, which is only used in connection with family law cases in Washington state.
  • No-Contact Order: A no-contact order is somewhat similar to an order for protection. However, unlike an order for protection, a no-contact order is only used in connection with a criminal case.
  • Order to Surrender and Prohibit Weapons: A court order commonly used in civil cases is the order for alleged abusers to surrender their guns. 

Consequences of Not Complying with Court Orders

Any court order you get handed is not something to brush off. That simply cannot be overstated. You need to comply with the order—to a T. For example, getting an order to surrender your weapons to the King County Sheriff’s Office means you should do exactly that. It doesn’t mean you should give your gun to a friend or sell it. 

In many cases, not abiding by a court order can land you in jail. 


Getting served with a court order can be scary. As you glance over the order, you might feel overwhelmed by the gravity of the situation OR by the sophisticated legalese. That’s completely normal, and our firm is here to help you overcome that. 

Burke Brown Attorneys, PLLC can take a stressful situation and help turn things around so you can realize a brighter future. Reach out to our team today to schedule your consultation.

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Burke Brown Attorneys, PLLC

The first step of our approach here at Burke Brown Attorneys, PLLC? Listening to you explain your legal situation. Our attorneys have nearly 40 years of combined experience in successfully defending people against the most serious accusations.

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