21 Jul How an Attorney Can Protect Domestic Violence Victims
When you find yourself a victim of domestic violence, you will want to do everything in your power to protect yourself against further abuse. Thankfully, there are many options available to domestic violence victims when applying for a protective order. With these orders, a victim will be able to contact police to request the immediate arrest of their abuser if they begin to be harassed, stalked or threatened by them. There three primary types of orders for which domestic violence victims can apply. They are the Emergency Protection Orders, the Personal Protection Orders, and the Criminal Protection Orders.
Emergency Protection Order
An Emergency Protection Order, or EPO, is an immediate but short-lived protection order given to a domestic victim for up to a week that is usually done “ex-parte“, or without the other party being present for the hearing. Awarded to the victim by a magistrate, this protection order is meant to give the victim a “stop-gap” while they apply for a more long-term order. Without this decree, victims would be left potentially unprotected by the law while trying to obtain a long-term protection solution.
Personal Protection Order
Although this order holds many different names, depending on the state in which you reside, every state has a form of this type of protection order in its statutes. As opposed to the short-lived EPO, a full-fledged Personal Protection Order can protect the victim for years or even a lifetime. Additionally, victims can apply to renew their protection order at the end of its duration if they continue to feel threatened by their abuser.
Protection orders hold many different enforced provisions that ensure the safety of the victim. Here are the various provisions available to you when requesting a Protection Order:
- Counseling Provision: With this provision, the victim can require the abuser to attend relevant counseling.
- Stay Away Provision: Requires the abuser to stay a certain distance away from the abuser in particular locations.
- Move Out Provision: Requires the abuser to vacate any home shared with the victim.
- No Contact Provision: Makes it illegal for the abuser to contact the victim in any way: including calling, stalking, texting, emailing, hitting, and more.
- Firearms Provision: Removes the rights of the abuser to hold firearms while the Protection Order is active.
- Peaceful Contact Provision: Unlike the other provisions, this will allow the abuser to make particular forms of contact with the victim. Mostly, this will be made to allow the transfer or care of a child to take place in a convenient manner.
In some cases, you may be able to have these provisions extended to other people around you who may be threatened or affected by the abuser. These people may include, roommates, partners, family members, children and more. Even pets can be protected under these extensions to the original protection order.
Criminal Protection Order
A Criminal Protection Order is a simplified version of the protection order that may be awarded to a domestic violence victim, and against the perpetrator in the criminal case that was levied against him or her as a result of their criminal conduct. It is usually given as a condition of the perpetrator’s bond. Once again, this order is done to preemptively protect the victim from any harm from the alleged abuser.
Obtaining a Protection Order
It is imperative that you seek qualified legal help when petitioning for an order of protection. A professional will help you draft the petition for protection and help you navigate the often-confusing application process. Additionally, they will have the know-how to know what obstacles you may face due to the state or county you live in, as domestic violence procedures tend to vary across borders.
Many states require you to present evidence at a domestic violence hearing to gain a protection order, so having a well-spoken and experienced attorney representing your interests during a very stressful point in your life tends to help. Keeping yourself on top of all procedures during the process will become much easier with a trusted attorney by your side.
Finally, once you have obtained a protection order, you will need to have it served to the abuser. In most domestic violence cases, the police will assist you in serving the paperwork.
What Happens when a Protection Order is Violated?
Unfortunately, some people, even after being served a protection order, will not be completely dissuaded from attempting contact and will continue to try and contact/harass the victim. In these cases, the violation can be seen as a misdemeanor, felony or contempt of court. If you are a domestic violence victim that needs protection, begin the process of requesting a protection order immediately. Waiting can have many consequences for you and other loved ones around you. Contact a local attorney today to receive the assistance you deserve in combatting your abusers crimes.