What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
You can call the police or sheriff department immediately, even if you think it is a minor violation, and show them your order of protection. You can also file a motion for contempt notifying the judge of the violation and requesting that the judge enforce the order. It can be a crime and contempt of court if the abuser knowingly violates a provision in the order in any way. A judge can punish someone for being in contempt of court.
A violation of the order is a Class A misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of one (1) year imprisonment in the county jail or a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.* A violation of the order within 5 years of a previous conviction for violating an order of protection is a Class D felony.**
In some cases, the abuser can be arrested immediately. If the police are not involved or do not arrest him/her or file a criminal complaint against him/her, you may still have the right to go to the District Court and take out a criminal complaint against him/her. It is a good idea to write down the name of the responding officer(s) and their badge number in case you want to follow up on your case.
* Ark. Code § 9-15-207(b)(1)
** Ark. Code § 9-15-207(b)(2)