Protective Order: Important Things To Know

A protective order is one possible way to protect yourself from further abuse. In order to get a protective order, you will need to do a few things. This article will focus on what you need to know and do to get a protective order. It will also help you to know what you need to do if you are served with an order.

A protective order can be the first step towards taking back control of your life.

1. Prerequisites for a Protective Order

The first thing you need to know is that a protective order is only available to individuals who have been abused or subject to domestic violence, or who were placed in a situation where they reasonably feared that they would be abused. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you may be reluctant to admit that you are a victim. The courts are looking for physical abuse, however. If your spouse is causing you emotional abuse, this is not the proper avenue for protection. Domestic violence opens the door to other potential abuses, including felonies such as rape and other sexual crimes. If your spouse has raped you, you could be entitled to a protective order.

The Second thing you need to know is that a protective order can only be issued against someone who was a cohabitant. This is someone whom you lived with, such as a spouse, family member or a co-parent. There may be other individuals who qualify.

2. How To Get a Protective Order

In order to get a protective order, you need to file a petition with the court. If you get a template from the court, you will be asked a series of questions, including the most recent incident of abuse or domestic violence, and any past incidences. The drafting of your petition is a crucial step. Many victims of abuse will often overlook the most important factors. By failing to articulate your abuse or domestic violence properly, you may have your petition rejected.

It is also important to realize that there are no time limits on protective orders. If you were abused 2 years ago, you can still get a protective order because of that incident.

If you insist on filing a protective order without an attorney, follow these helpful tips to make sure your petition is prepared to succeed:

– When deciding which incident of abuse or domestic violence to put first, put the most grievous and obvious incident. Even if it is not the most recent. Although the court asks for the most recent incident, put the incident most grievous first.

– Make sure that you only give enough details to make it clear that you were abused. Many victims take this opportunity to tell their stories, but it isn’t necessary and could cost you your order. Clearly and succinctly state what happened.

– Make sure you add in another sheet with all other incidents of abuse, no matter how small you may think they are.

At Solon Law, we are very experienced with getting and defending protective orders and have excellent rates. We highly encourage you to reach out to us if you’re thinking about getting a protective order. We will also include other resources here for free help.

3. What To Do Once You’ve Submitted Your Petition

Once you have submitted a protective order to the court, you should know within a day whether it will be granted. What you do then depends on the outcome.
If your protective order was granted, the court will hold a hearing within 20 days after issuing it. The court will determine at that hearing whether to make the protective order permanent. In between when you receive your temporary protective order and the hearing, you will need to serve the other party with it. This step is crucial. You can hire a constable to serve it for you.

If your protective order was denied, you can request a hearing within 20 days to determine whether it was done improperly. Just because your protective order was rejected does not mean you will not succeed at the hearing. It is always worth going to a hearing.

4. What To Do If You’ve Been Served With a Protective Order

If you received a protective order entered against you, do not contact the other party. Stay away from them until your hearing date. At that time, you will need to show evidence that you did not abuse or cause any kind of domestic violence against the other person. Often times this will come down to a “he said, she said” argument. In those cases, if there’s only the strength of your word vs. their’s, there is a strong chance the protective order will not be entered.

It is crucial that you hire an attorney if you’ve been served with a protective order. 

Dealing with abuse or being falsely accused of abuse can make you feel alone. You don’t need to go at it alone. Call us Now! (801) 770-0073.

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