Iowa code section 664A.7 provides for criminal and contempt of court penalties for violations of a no-contact or protective order. That section of the Iowa code states as follows:
664A.7 Violation of no-contact order or protective order contempt or simple misdemeanor penalties.
1. Violation of a no-contact order issued under this chapter or a protective order issued pursuant to chapter 232, 236, or 598, including a modified no-contact order, is punishable by summary contempt proceedings.
2. A hearing in a contempt proceeding brought pursuant to this section shall be held not less than five and not more than fifteen days after the issuance of a rule to show cause, as determined by the court.
3. If convicted of or held in contempt for a violation of a no-contact order or a modified no-contact order for a public offense referred to in section 664A.2, subsection 1, or held in contempt of a no-contact order issued during a contempt proceeding brought pursuant to section 236.11, the person shall be confined in the county jail for a minimum of seven days. A jail sentence imposed pursuant to this subsection shall be served on consecutive days. No portion of the mandatory minimum term of confinement imposed by this subsection shall be deferred or suspended. A deferred judgment, deferred sentence, or suspended sentence shall not be entered for a violation of a no-contact order, modified no-contact order, or protective order and the court shall not impose a fine in lieu of the minimum sentence, although a fine may be imposed in addition to the minimum sentence.
4. If convicted or held in contempt for a violation of a civil protective order referred to in section 664A.2, the person shall serve a jail sentence. A jail sentence imposed pursuant to this subsection shall be served on consecutive days. A person who is convicted of or held in contempt for a violation of a protective order referred to in section 664A.2 may be ordered by the court to pay the plaintiff s attorney s fees and court costs.
5. Violation of a no-contact order entered for the offense or alleged offense of domestic abuse assault in violation of section 708.2A or a violation of a protective order issued pursuant to chapter 232, 236, 598, or 915 constitutes a public offense and is punishable as a simple misdemeanor. Alternatively, the court may hold a person in contempt of court for such a violation, as provided in subsection 3.
6. A person shall not be held in contempt or convicted of violations under multiple no-contact orders, protective orders, or consent agreements, for the same set of facts and circumstances that constitute a single violation.
In Iowa, a person who violates a protective order can face either contempt of court or criminal penalties. The contempt of court penalties can include a jail sentence, fine, or any other remedies that the Iowa court chooses to impose where there is a finding of contempt.
On the criminal side of things, Violation of no-contact order or protective order is a simple misdemeanor in Iowa, which is punishable by up to 30 days in the county jail. Unlike most simple misdemeanor charges, a Violation of no-contact order or protective order conviction requires that the court impose a minimum 7-day jail sentence. The court in Iowa is also prohibited from suspending the jail sentence or deferring judgment, which means that the jail sentence must be actually served.
For a person who is accused of Violation of no-contact order or protective order in Iowa, there is a positive side to the law in that multiple violations that are essentially the same act can only result in a single conviction or contempt finding. That means that a person who sends 10 text messages to the protected party in a hour can expect up to 1 conviction, not 10.
The mandatory jail, possibility of contempt, and other penalties for a Violation of no-contact order or protective order charge in Iowa make it a serious matter that should be handled properly. For that reason, a person facing a Violation of no-contact order or protective order charge or contempt case in Iowa is well advised to seek an attorney at once.