If you have been served with a Protective Order of any kind, you probably want to fight it. A Protective Order can have other collateral consequences other than the immediate restrictions imposed on you. 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. 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 fight 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? Is it an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) or a Preliminary Protective Order (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.
A continuance is also an important tool when, as is common, a protective order relates to criminal charges. Generally, you will want to have the protective order hearing after a related criminal trial, so that you are not put in a position to either 1) not testify at the protective order hearing, or 2) testify at the protective order hearing and have your statements be used in the criminal case.
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
Hire A Northern Virginia Protective Order Attorney
Contact our office today for a free case consultation. Our attorneys have experience fighting and negotiating protective order cases in Northern Virginia, and are prepared to help you.