Generally speaking, you will first find out about a protective order either when you are served by a police officer or if you are arrested for a crime and then given a protective order. A protective order can have huge consequences on your daily life, your living situation, custody of your children, possession of your stuff, as well as impacts on your career and credit report. To find out the exact consequences a protective order can have, read up on it at our in-depth FAQs.
A protective order can affect your job, your career, your credit history, and can even take away temporary custody of your children. A protective order can also evict you of your home temporarily but still demand that you pay all utilities or rent as before. Most likely, the first time you will be in front of a judge telling your side of the story will be at the Permanent Protective Order hearing.
What do they have to prove to get a protective order?
The petitioner (the person asking for a protective order) has to prove some incident of violence in the not-so-distant past or threats of violence, force or threat resulting in injury, fear of death or bodily injury, stalking, or fear of sexual assault or sexual assault.
Steps to defending yourself against a protective order:
First, you need to figure out what kind of protective order you have against you. Is it a family abuse protective order? (See firearms prohibitions). Is it an EPO or a PPO? This is to determine where you are in the proceedings and how much time you have to prepare your case. Hire an attorney as soon as you can to ensure that you do not lose any more rights in the process and you are able to adequately and vigorously defend yourself. Your attorney can also help you get a continuance to give yourself more time to defend against this protective order.
Second, know what the protective order requires you to do and what not to do. Both are equally important and a violation of the protective order can result in further criminal charges.
Third, consult with your attorney and gather evidence that will be helpful to you at the hearing. Gather any evidence such as photos, videos, text messages, emails, social media posts that help refute what is alleged in the protective order.
Fourth, make sure you remain in good standing with the court by complying with anything the protective order asks of you while you wait for your hearing. Any violation not only creates a further criminal charge against you, it can also be used as evidence during your hearing.
Fifth and most important, hire an attorney who can navigate the complicated world of protective orders. A permanent protective order can last for up to two years and can be extended further. It is in your best interest to fight a protective order.
Locations we serve:
If you were served with a protective order, it is important that you hire a defense attorney who is well-versed in the jurisdiction you are charged. We are located right next to the Alexandria Courthouse and minutes away from Arlington, Fairfax, and Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) courts. Our firm handles these cases in many locations throughout Northern Virginia such as:
Alexandria General District Court
Arlington General District Court
Fairfax County General District Court
Prince William County General District Court
Loudoun County General District Court
Contact our office today for a free case consultation.