Protective order attorneys are instrumental in a number of scenarios including getting protective orders issued to protect a client, defending against the issuing of a protective order when it is inappropriate, and defending against protective order violations.
A Protective Order By Any Other Name
Protective orders are often called restraining orders. They are issued by courts to protect a potential victim or to restrain a person from engaging in a particular set of actions that are seen as potentially harmful to the person the order seeks to protect.
They can be issued by a court or an emergency, or exparte basis. These orders are usually for a very short time period, often for 24 or 48 hours until a more formal hearing can take place. These are often issued in domestic violence situations.
All protective orders, except for the emergency ex-parte orders, are issued only after a hearing in which the person whose actions are being restrained has the opportunity to defend against the issuance of the order. In a domestic situation, often the court issues mutual protective orders so that spouses or partners are protected from each other. This can make a divorce more problematic.
What Kinds of Things Are Included in a Protective Order?
Most often a protective order prohibits all contact. It can also prohibit threats, harassment, stalking, and all violence toward a victim. Okla. Stat. tit. 22 §§ 60.1, 60.2. It may require that the perpetrator stay a certain distance from the victim, victim’s home, or place of work. It can also prevent any violence or threat of violence to the victim’s pet.
People often wonder about the parameters of a no-contact order. But a no-contact order means all contact is prohibited—direct and indirect. That means that you cannot ask a friend or relative to contact the victim for you.
Accidental contacts do happen sometimes. You see each other on the street. If that happens, it is wise to cross the street and keep going. Do not stop or try to explain it away.
Protective Orders: Limitations and Issues
Protective orders are issued in a number of situations, most often in domestic disputes between parties. Protective orders are useful when there is a real threat or harassment that cannot otherwise be addressed by law enforcement. But they have both pluses and minuses.
A protective order can give a troubled relationship time for emotions to settle down. Time and space can de-escalate a violent or potentially violent situation.
But families can be torn apart by a restraining order. In addition, there is always the real possibility that the other side, the party you are seeking to restrain, may ask the court for the same remedy. In that case, often a court will usually issue mutual protective orders which can make it difficult to work out issues if you are in the middle of a divorce.
Restraining orders can also be wrongly used as a tool to gain leverage in a divorce or other family law matter. This is especially true in custody disputes. In this type of case, an attorney can help the court understand the dynamics and motivations of the parties involved.
Violating a Protective Order: Penalties
A violation occurs whenever any of the terms of the order are compromised. If the order requires you to stay away from the other’s place of work and you enter that building, you have violated the protective order. If the order prohibits contact and you get your nephew to deliver a message, you have violated the order. Violations carry penalties which increase with each violation.
A first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a jail term of up to 1 year in the county jail, or a fine up to $1000, or both. A subsequent violation of a protective order is a felony which carries with a prison term of from 1 to 3 years, or a fine from $2000 to $10,000, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 22 § 60.6.
If injury or impairment occurs as a result of the violation, a first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by jail time from 20 days to 1 year, or a fine up to $5,000, or both. A subsequent injurious violation is a felony punishable by imprisonment from 1 to 5 years, or a fine between $3000 and $10,000, or both.
In almost all cases, whether seeking to obtain a protective order, or to prevent the court from imposing a protective order, it is best to work with an experienced emergency protective order attorney. An attorney can help guide you through the process, and help you decide if a protective order is the best thing for your situation if you are seeking one. Alternatively, if you are the person who is being restrained, an experienced attorney can help you defend against the imposition of an unfair restraining order.
Confidential Consultation: Muskogee Protective Order Attorney
Get your questions answered and get help you need. Understand the law and how it applies to your particular situation. A Muskogee protective order lawyer can help. Contact us today at (918) 884-7774.