Courts typically generally issue protective orders to victims of domestic violence who seek distance from their alleged abusers. Domestic violence victims have the right to request protection from their abusers in the form of protective orders that may be temporary or permanent. Such orders, often called “restraining orders,” place serious restrictions on the movement of the abuser and impact his or her daily life. If you discover that you have an injunction against you, it is important to align yourself with a domestic violence defense attorney.
Temporary vs. Permanent Restraining Orders
Protective orders are common in domestic violence cases in which assault or battery is committed against a household member. In a domestic violence case, the victim has the right to petition for a protective order so long as there is reasonable cause to believe that she or he is in imminent danger. The victim is referred to as a “petitioner” while the alleged abuser against whom the order is issued is called the “respondent.”
A judge may issue a temporary restraining order when he or she believes the victim is in immediate danger of being abused. Temporary orders can last up to 15 days and are a stepping stone toward a permanent order. Permanent protective orders may last for several years; however, one can file a petition to have such an order removed.
In the fifteen days leading up to the permanent protective order, judges must schedule a hearing to determine if the order is warranted. Respondents have the right to request such a hearing, and it is at this hearing which a respondent can be represented by an experienced attorney to show that the permanent protective order is not justified.
Whether the order is temporary or permanent, the protective order contains a series of injunctions, or specific court orders, that require you to do or refrain from doing specific acts. Such orders aim to provide relief for the alleged victim. A protective order may:
- Restrain the respondent from committing any acts of domestic violence
- Award the alleged victim temporary exclusive use of the home
- Order the respondent to participate in a batterer’ intervention course
- Require the respondent to surrender weapons to law enforcement
- Address issues regarding child support and timesharing
Preparing for the Hearing
At the protective order hearing, the petitioner is required to show evidence that supports the permanent protective order she or he seeks. There must be reasonable cause to support the possibility that she or he will be a victim once again. The standards for such evidence are significantly lower than they are in a criminal case; while the latter would require proof “beyond a reasonable doubt,” a protective order hearing only requires that the evidence presented be “strong and clear.” Still, it is in your best interests to work with a determined criminal defense attorney who can present all the facts of your case.
Attorney Brian Gabriel of The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel has defended those who have been accused of domestic violence crimes for over 30 years. If you have been notified of your upcoming protective order hearing, call 561-622-5575 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.