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Location: Indiana, USA

Background: A friend of mine has a temporary no-contact order placed against him for his girlfriend. His girlfriend didn't want the order, but the state placed the order anyway. She is still allowed to message him. Being a good egg, he didn't message her back and has followed the law waiting for his pre-trial agreement to run out and the order to lift.

Concern: She sent him pictures - empty bottles of vodka and her bleeding wrists - and some messages something to the effect of I hate my ****ing life. I just want to end it. This is a pattern of hers that really messes with him (my friend) so he broke the order to console her, then she proceeded to tell other people (her friends and family) that he broke the order.

Question: Does the law or judge ever make exceptions for events such as this? A deliberate breaking of a court order, but with good intentions? Or would he be facing the same punishments if word makes it back around to the court?

Edit: I understand Necessity in Criminal Law may come into play here, but I'm unsure if this is a strong enough argument.

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Does the law or judge ever make exceptions for events such as this?

From a legal standpoint, your friend is at high risk of being found in contempt and thus be sentenced to imprisonment. Your friend should have called 911 rather than violate the protection order under pretext of consoling her.

Asking from the standpoint of whether judges ever do this or that is pointless. The answer would be "yes, they make exceptions" even in scenarios which are plain aberrant. However, a judge's departure of the law quite often is not a reliable standpoint for understanding the law, but the result of his/her ineptitude and unfitness for judicial office.

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    Unlike other court orders, violation of a "no contact" order of this type is often a separate criminal offense and prosecuted in that manner rather than only being enforceable via contempt of court proceedings. But, you are correct that neither party can waive the order. The proper course would be to alert 911 or a third party, not to personally console the GF. This would be an open and shut case of criminal/contempt liability although the reasons for it might result in a more mild sanction than other reasons for doing so, once convicted. A necessity argument fails since 911 is an option.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 6 '20 at 6:47

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