Mecklenburg County Protective Order Lawyer
Protective orders are designed to ensure the safety of a party that feels threatened (called the petitioner) by another individual or group of people (called the respondent[s]). A Mecklenburg County protective order lawyer may be able to help you if you are seeking a protective order against someone else, or if another party has placed an order on you. An experienced domestic violence defense attorney could file the proper documentation quickly to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
What is a Protective Order?
A protective order is a court order limiting, restricting, or preventing contact between two individuals. The order will dictate how those people are to interact with each other for as long as the order is in place. Protective orders are often given to ensure the safety of one party if they are in imminent or perceived danger of assault from the other party.
Mecklenburg County, as in all of Virginia, does not have a restraining-order process. Protective orders are often incorrectly referred to as restraining orders, but a protective order can only be issued under certain circumstances.
A judge can grant a protective order for many different reasons, but the order must be based on a threat or risk of harm to be committed against the petitioner by the respondent. Usually, protective orders are issued in cases of domestic violence or to those affected by sex crimes.
Good Cause For Issuing a Protective Order
Good cause is the standard required for a judge to issue a protective order. Good cause comes from a fear of, the threat of, or an act of violence. Without tangible good cause for protection, there is no basis for a civil protection order to be issued.
Types of Protective Orders
In Mecklenburg County, a protective order is issued either by a magistrate after a criminal charge or by a judge after a petition has been filed. A hearing is held later on to determine whether a permanent protective order should be issued. That order can only be issued by a judge after hearing evidence from all parties the wish to be heard. In Mecklenburg County, there are three main types of protective orders.
Emergency Protective Orders
These orders are issued rapidly to protect an individual from imminent harm before they are able to file for a full protective order. These are usually triggered by criminal charges given to a respondent. Emergency protective orders expire three days after being issued, or the next time court is convened, whichever is later.
Preliminary Protective Orders
Preliminary protective orders can be issued as extensions of emergency orders, or as another stop-gap before a full protective order can be obtained. These last longer than emergency orders.
Permanent Protective Orders
Permanent protective orders last for two years. It may last longer if the respondent has been convicted of a felony. After the two years expire, the petitioner can seek an extension after reviewing additional evidence. However, they can only be issued after due process in court involving both parties, and usually, a Mecklenburg County protective order lawyer.
A protective order can be changed or extended either when a person has filed a petition to have it modified or new evidence is provided. It also can be extended based on the expiration of the existing order when a judge finds evidence and good cause to extend it.
Impacts of a Protective Order in Mecklenburg County
A civil protective order might require the respondent to maintain a certain distance from the petitioner, have no contact with them in any manner, or simply limit and dictate what kind of contact is allowed. Generally, it just sets limits as to what contact and conduct a person can be engaged in with certain other parties. Breaches of these orders can lead to criminal charges.
Any party to a protective order can ask the court to vacate or modify it at any time. A judge must hear evidence to determine whether a change is warranted or in the best interest of those involved.
A protective order in place during while a criminal case is pending might restrict the contact a defendant can have with witnesses or hamper their ability to collect evidence. Additional impacts could include having to find new lodgings or being deprived of personal items at a shared property that a respondent is no longer legally allowed to visit.
It is absolutely crucial to read the protective order and understand what limits it gives. Any violation of a protective order is a new misdemeanor charge and it is very easy to amass violations of the order quickly if the order is not comprehensively understood. A protective order lawyer in Mecklenberg County may be able to clarify the exact parameters of a protective order, potentially preventing consequent criminal charges.
A Mecklenberg County Protective Order Attorney Could Help
Whether you are hoping to petition for a protective order against someone you feel in danger of, or you have had someone petition for a protective order against you, a skilled lawyer may be of assistance. A Mecklenburg County protective order lawyer could make sure all documents are filed correctly, evidence thoroughly analyzed, and arguments made. Call an attorney today to get started on your case.