Understanding Orders of Protection (A guest blog post because your safety is important.)
Surviving abusive and dangerous people sometimes necessitates taking strong legal action. If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic violence there are several options, both civil and criminal, to protect yourself or others from any further abuse or exploitation. If you’re looking to determine your legal options, the attorneys specializing in orders of protection Arizona offer a breakdown on the options available to maximize personal safety and security.
Emergency Protection Order – In some states, the police can give the victim (or person believed to be the victim) an Emergency Protection Order (EPO). An EPO is a short-term protection order typically given to a victim by the police or magistrate when his or her abuser is arrested for domestic violence. The EPO is generally for limited period, such as three or seven days. This permits the victim time with an EPO in place to request a longer-term protection order.
Order of Protection – All 50 states and the District of Columbia have statutes for some form of protection order. However, states call this order different things, such as protection orders, orders of protection and injunction for protection against domestic violence.
A protection order is different from an EPO because it is longer term, typically for one to five years, and in extreme circumstances, for up to a lifetime. A victim can renew the protection order, if he or she still feels threatened by his or her abuser.
Protection orders may include children, other family members, roommates, or current romantic partners of the victim. This means the same no contact and stay away rules apply to the other listed individuals, even if the direct harm was to the victim. Some states allow pets to be protected by the same order, as abusers may harm pets to torment their victims.
Restraining Order – A restraining order is an order requiring parties involved in a lawsuit to do or not do certain things. It may be part of a family law case, such as a divorce, or other civil codes. Restraining orders may be requested “ex parte” meaning that one party asks the court to do something without telling the other party. If the restraining order is granted ex parte, than the other party is later permitted a hearing to present their side of the story. This is often the process for protection orders also. As restraining orders also vary by state, it’s important to consult with an attorney familiar with the law where you live.
If you are in fear of your safety there are options for you to get help. Taking the right step can lead to a life that is safer and ultimately happier.