Protective Order Hearings in Mecklenburg County
The purpose of protective order hearing is for the judge to hear evidence from both parties before deciding whether to extend a protective order and possibly issue a permanent one.
In a hearing, a domestic violence-related charge is going on at the same time as a protective order hearing. The two could either be heard together or they could be heard separately on different days. The scope of a protective order hearing in that context will be determined by the specific allegations and legal advice given to the defendant by their attorney because a variety of evidential issues could come up.
The domestic-violence charge could lead to a criminal conviction, but the protective order could also lead to serious consequences. It is important that a person carefully discusses with their attorney strategy and evidence regarding both hearings well in advance of those cases.
A seasoned lawyer who is experienced with protective order hearings in Mecklenburg County could help you during before, during, and after a hearing. Reach out to an accomplished protective order attorney today.
Scheduling a Protective Order Hearing
Once the emergency protection order has been granted, it can be extended within 72 hours of being issued, making it a preliminary protective order. Once a preliminary protective order has been issued, they have about 30 days to schedule another hearing. In the protective order case, it could be in place for two years if the order is made permanent.
Protective order hearings take place in any of the three courthouses in Mecklenburg County. Often, they are in the domestic context, and those are heard in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. When a person is given notice of a protective order hearing, it will specify which court is holding the hearing.
The petitioner must be present at the hearing, otherwise, the judge has no evidence with which to decide whether a protective order should be issued. However, it is not mandatory that the respondent be at the hearing. If the respondent is not present, the judge will decide whether to issue a protective order based solely on the evidence presented by the petitioner. That being said, it is advised for the respondent to be at the hearing and to have an attorney with them.
Evidence Presented at a Hearing
Protective order hearings in Mecklenburg County allow for evidence to be presented by both sides. Evidence that directly contradicts the evidence presented by the petitioner can be enough for a judge to overturn a protective order. Alibis that completely undermine the allegation by the petitioner could be enough. The evidence will depend on the specific circumstances of each case. It is crucial that if a person has evidence they believe will cause the judge to overturn a protective order, they should discuss it with their attorney well in advance of the case so that evidence can be presented in the most effective and persuasive way for the judge to decide the case correctly.
Department of Social Sevices Role at Protective Order Hearings
Mecklenburg County does not have family relations officers, but sometimes the Department of Social Services is involved in these cases. Occasionally, in a protective-order context, the agency will be involved if children are part of the protective order. That means the Department of Social Services could be interviewing not just the petitioner, but the respondent. They can be a source of evidence because separate from the protective order, they are investigating separately the incident that led to the filing for it.
Ex Parte and Preliminary Protective Order Hearings
An ex parte protective order will mean that the respondent to the protective order is not present for the hearing. The preliminary protective order hearing is a hearing wherein the judge determines whether or not the respondent objects to the protective order and what evidence they might have to keep the protective order from being issued. It is a temporary hearing that only sets the order in place for approximately 30 days, whereas a permanent protective order hearing is a hearing to determine whether or not a protective order will be in place for up two years.
Benefits of a Mecklenburg County Lawyer at Protective Order Hearings
Mecklenburg County judges handle protective order hearings very seriously because of the reason for seeking the order and the severe consequences that come from a protective order being issued.
An accomplished defense attorney has experience litigating protective orders and knows what evidence is persuasive to judges. A person facing a protective order should obtain a lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney who is knowledgeable about protective order hearings in Mecklenburg County could help you reach a favorable outcome.