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Does a restraining order include Facebook?

You are accused of domestic violence and your spouse takes out a restraining order against you. Nothing has been proven yet, but you know that you have to follow the order since violating it is a crime, even if you are later cleared of all of the original charges.

You know the basics. Do not go to your spouse's home. Do not call. Do not write letters. All communication is off the table. You must give that person space and keep your distance.

But what about social media? Can you still go on Facebook? Could your actions get you into legal trouble accidentally?

They could, and these cases have gone to court in the past. Remember, Facebook is considered a type of communication. Anything you do that puts you in contact with your ex could violate the order and have serious consequences, including jail time.

For instance, one man's ex-girlfriend had a restraining order against him, and he went on her Facebook profile and "liked" nearly two dozen videos and photos. In another case, a woman had a restraining order taken out against her by another woman, and she decided to go on Facebook and "poke" her. Even though neither person wrote a message or actually said anything, it was determined that they had violated their orders by using social media to communicate.

As you can see, something that you think is completely innocent could lead to some serious criminal charges. If this happens and it takes you by surprise, it is very important for you to understand your rights and all of the legal options you have.

Source: The Denver Channel, "Yes, You Can Violate A Restraining Order On Facebook," Leah Becerra, accessed May 10, 2018

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