A restraining order, or sometimes referred to as a protective order, is a legally binding court order for someone to stay away from another person.
Most often, restraining orders are granted in response to the following actions:
- Stalking someone
- Harassing someone
- Endangering the safety of someone else
- Violence against someone
The victim is the one who has to request the restraining order as a way to protect him or herself.
There are many different places the court can order people to stay away from, including the victim’s workplace and home.
If it’s a domestic violence case, the judge could do the following:
- He or she could order the person who abused the victim to get counseling or go to alcohol or substance abuse treatment.
- He or she could order a police escort for the abuser to remove personal items from the home.
The consequences of violating a protective order can be serious.
What can happen if you violate a protective order?
Here’s what can happen if a person is found to have violated a restraining order:
- He or she can get a hefty fine.
- He or she can go to jail.
- He or she could get both jail time and a fine.
Violating a restraining order is usually a misdemeanor, but it can be upgraded to a felony charge under some circumstances:
- Did the violation happen while another crime was taking place? Like vandalism or assault?
How is a restraining order enforced?
The person who has requested and received the protective order is urged to keep a copy of the court order with them — all the time.
This is so the victim can immediately show police the order if the aggressor violates the order. It’s up to the victim to call police. The order cannot be enforced without cooperation from the victim, and the victim should call the authorities immediately after the violation happens. Sometimes, law enforcement can’t intervene if too much time has lapsed between the violation and when the victim made the call.
If you or someone you love is accused of violating a protective order, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help with your case. Contact Jacqui Ford’s office today.