A consequence of breaking a DANCO is a new criminal charge. This is a new domestic violence-related offense which can be a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony. Domestic violence-related offenses are enhanceable, meaning the more you get within a 10-year period the more severe the consequences. If you violate a DANCO within 10 years of a prior domestic violence-related offense conviction, or adjudication of delinquency, you can be charged with a gross misdemeanor and subject to mandatory penalties.

A qualified prior domestic violence related-offense can be a violation of an order for protection, murder (first or second degree), assault (first, second, third, fourth, or fifth degree), domestic assault, female genital mutilation, domestic assault by strangulation, criminal sexual conduct (first, second, third, or fourth degree), malicious punishment of a child, terroristic threats, violation of a harassment restraining order, harassment or stalking, nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, and violation of a DANCO and any similar laws of other states or the United States or territories.

The mandatory-minimum penalty for a second offense is 10 days imprisonment (jail) and court ordered counseling. The maximum sentence is up to 365 days of imprisonment. Often the counseling is either domestic violence counseling or anger management. If a person violates a DANCO within 10 years of two prior domestic violence-related offense conviction or while possessing a dangerous weapon they can be charged with a felony. A felony DANCO violation comes with a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, a fine of $10,000, or both. A felony level DANCO violation also comes with a mandatory minimum penalty which is at least 30 days in jail and court-ordered counseling.

Since DANCO violations are considered severity level 4 crimes, a person’s criminal history score can impact the amount of time someone has to do. Somebody with four prior domestic assaults or DANCO violations, is facing roughly a 24-month sentence (based on their criminal history score) not a 30-day sentence. Having four prior domestic related-offenses is not as crazy as you think, considering two are needed to get to the felony level (unless a weapon was the enhancing factor). This also does not take into account other prior convictions a person has which can also go into a person’s criminal history score, thus impacting the amount of time someone is sentenced to.

It is not just prior domestic related-offense convictions that go into someone’s criminal history score, it is a person’s full criminal history. It is important to remember that it takes very little to violate a DANCO and every violation of a DANCO is its own charge which can quickly increase the number of priors somebody has. On top of the mandatory minimum imprisonment period, a felony conviction can create issues for people outside of criminal court. The most common issues people incur is difficulty finding employment and housing, because these often require criminal background checks, as well as the inability to vote while on felony probation.

Also, if a person is convicted of any domestic assault (excluding DANCO violations) they would be ineligible to ship, transport, possess, or receive a firearm or ammunition for the remainder of the person’s lifetime unless their firearm rights have been restored under the law. Plus, the person who violates the order can be arrested on the original case and their bail or conditions of release can be changed by the judge. Heightened conditions can include drug testing and electronic monitoring, usually through the use of a GPS monitor. So, in all a DANCO violation doesn’t just lead to a new misdemeanor charge, instead it can lead to months of jail especially if the violation or violations occur after the underlying domestic case has already led to a conviction.

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