Protective Order

Your safety is our top concern at Randall Page. When someone threatens harm or causes harm, the law can help!

A protective order, also known as a restraining order, is a legal document that is published on the orders of a judge or a magistrate. Its objective is to safeguard the health and well-being of an individual who is allegedly a casualty of an act of violence, force or a threat that leads to physical injury or gives rise to a fear of death, sexual assault, or bodily harm.

In Virginia, there are three kinds of protective orders that can shield you and your family members. These are the emergency protective order, which expires at the end of the third day after being issued or the earliest when the court is in session, whichever is later; the preliminary protective order, which extends for a fortnight (two weeks) or until a full hearing is made; and a protective order, which can last for as long as two years. Because of their nature, emergency protective orders can be issued orally by the judge and in the absence of the defendant.

A good lawyer, a Randall Page lawyer, experienced in Family Law, will help you obtain a protective order. The full protective order has the widest scope. It can assess costs and attorney fees against the defendant, enjoin the defendant to seek treatment or counseling, and if necessary, instruct the defendant to provide suitable housing for the petitioner (you).

If you feel unsafe at the time when an emergency protective order expires, it is your responsibility to ask the court for a preliminary protective order. For most scenarios, you or your attorney can obtain a preliminary protective order from the general district court. If you want protection from a family member or a juvenile, or if you are a juvenile then you need to place your request with the juvenile and domestic relations district court. Your Randall Page attorney will help with all the details of the process and filing.

Once you’ve completed the necessary forms, you need to visit the court where you will have to answer questions posed by the judge. You don’t have to pay for having this order instituted. You need to provide the authorities with the identification details of the individual –  Identification of the person you are filing the protective order against. (Full legal name, DOB, Address if known) – from whom you seek protection and also detailed information on the event that drove you to obtain a protective order.

As mentioned above, the preliminary protective order lasts for up to 15 days or till a full hearing is held. A full hearing is one in which both you and the alleged harasser or stalker will get the opportunity to present their version of the event. This is where you can benefit immensely from the services of an experienced Randall Page lawyer.

A protective order becomes effective when it is served on the person from whom you seek protection. A law enforcement officer or a court representative hands it over personally. If the person does not desist from his activities, he or she can be arrested and a criminal charge filed.  A “No Contact” provision in the protective order means that the person cannot contact you directly or indirectly unless he or she has permission from the court.

If you wish to communicate with the person against whom you have a protective order, you must inform the judge about this during the hearing. As per federal law, the protective order has to be obeyed in all states, so it does not matter if you move from Virginia. It is a good idea to get in touch with the local court in the new state to gain more information.