Protective Orders: Do’s and Dont's

Most likely, the most you know about restraining orders is what you’ve heard on TV or in the movies. Which means not much. Many sitcoms may use the protective order as a punchline in a joke, but this legal order can have a huge impact one both parties’ lives.

If you live in Virginia and have been served with a protective order, there are some very important rules you will need to follow. Keep reading to learn more about protective orders and what to do if you have been served one.

What is a Protective Order?

A protective order is a court order that intends to protect a victim of domestic abuse from further harm or harassment. Any victim of domestic violence can obtain a protective order. This term includes anyone who has experienced domestic abuse by a spouse or a present or former household member.

Types of Protective Orders

In Virgina there are three different types of protective orders:

Emergency Protective Order (EPO): This protective order can be issued “ex parte” by a judge or magistrate. This means that a person can go to the magistrate or judge, report that they are in danger, and the judge can issue an EPO without hearing the other side’s story. However an EPO only lasts 3 days and if the petitioner wants to extend this, they must go to court to request another type of protective order.

Preliminary Protective Order (PPO): Similar to the EPO, the PPO can be issued “ex parte” by a judge or magistrate. However, the petitioner must use sworn testimony and the PPO lasts for up to two weeks. If the petitioner wants to extend this, they must then petition the court for a full or a permanent protective order.

Permanent Protective Order (PO): While the PO is called a “permanent” protective order, it actually only lasts up to two years. If a petitioner seeks a full protective order, the respondent (or the person against whom the protective order is sought) is entitled to prior notice, and an opportunity to oppose the protective order in a full hearing in front of a judge.

What Happens at a Protective Order Hearing?

At the protective order hearing, both parties are present and can testify and present evidence on why the protective order should, or should not, be granted. If a protective order is put in place against you this can have a very big impact on your legal rights. In Virgina, any violation of a protective order can result in a criminal charge against you with mandatory jail time. It is crucial that if you are served with a protective order to consult with a criminal attorney to know your rights and how to fight a petition for a protective order.

Have you been served with a protective order? Do you need quality criminal advice you can trust? Contact the boutique law firm, The Center for Criminal and Immigration Law, for a consultation today.

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