Guidance And Defense In Protective Orders
There are three types of protective orders (POs) in Virginia and Maryland, and they are granted only with a preponderance of evidence. This means that the person who petitioned for the PO needs only to meet with a judge and convince the judge that they have been harmed or feel threatened by someone. A domestic protective order is sought when the two parties have been in an intimate or family relationship with one another.
We, at Beckman Schmalzle Georgelas & Ross, PLC, are attorneys with many years of family law experience. We understand relationship dynamics. As criminal defense attorneys, we also understand what is at stake and why a person may need assistance if a PO is taken out against them.
Understanding The Process And What Is At Stake
A PO is not a criminal charge but a civil order. However, violating a PO is a criminal offense. There are three steps in obtaining a permanent PO. The names for the different types of orders vary by state. The terms used here are for Virginia and Maryland.
- Either law enforcement or the threatened person will go to the court and petition for an interim or emergency protective order (EPO). The person whom the order is taken out against cannot attend this hearing. These POs are available 24/7. These are usually granted immediately. This order will expire in two business days (Maryland) or 72 hours (Virginia), or at the next court session.
- At the next hearing or court session, the person who is petitioning the court for the PO will present evidence that shows “reasonable grounds” for the order being approved. The judge will then make orders for relief. These orders can vary widely. These orders usually last about a week but must not last longer than six months. These hearings are “ex parte,” meaning the responded (the person whom the order is taken out against) does not need to attend or is not allowed to attend. A sheriff will serve the order to the respondent.
- There is a permanent protective order (PPO) hearing. Both parties must show up for this. The length of time of a permanent order varies by state but is typically six months to two years; in some cases, it is longer. Mutual orders of protection are issued if both people acted aggressively or if neither person was acting in self-defense.
A temporary protective order will only be seen by law enforcement. If a permanent order of protection is issued, it will appear on a person’s criminal record and will be accessible to the public. This may affect your ability to find housing or employment. You may be ordered to stay out of your home. You may not be able to see your children. You may be prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm.
Get Proven Counsel In PO Defense
Having a PO taken out against you can upset your family and your life. We understand your need to defend yourself and preserve your rights. Call 703-659-6875 to speak to a member of our legal team about what we can do for you. You can also reach out to us via this website’s contact email. We serve all of Loudoun County and the surrounding communities.