What To Do If A Criminal Protective Order Was Issued Against Me?

Look to an experienced Criminal Lawyer for direction

Criminal protective orders can be confusing, because there are so many types of them. When it comes to Virginia, there are three types of protective orders that you can use to protect yourself, others in your family, or your home. These orders are issued by a judge or magistrate to protect your health and safety, if you are an alleged victim in any act that involves violence, force, threats resulting in bodily injuries, or places that you may fear death, sexual assault or bodily injury.

Those three types of protective orders are:

  • An Emergency Protect Order, an order that expires after three days or the next day court is in session (whichever is later). 
  • A Preliminary Protect Order is an order that lasts fifteen days or until a full hearing.
  • An Protect Order, which may last for two years. 

Restraining orders are also common, and may come into play before any of the three protective orders listed above.

How will I know when the emergency protective order ends? 

When you are given an emergency protective order, you should have the date and time that it will expire. If you need to extend your protection. You must ask the court for a preliminary protection order.

 Where do I get my preliminary protective report? 

If the person that you want protection from is a family or household member or a juvenile, or if you are a juvenile, you should go to the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court otherwise you would go to a General District Court.

What happens when an order is filed against me?

When any kind of protective order is filed against you, then you will be notified of an order of protection against you. It is imperative that you obey the order and make this matter your priority. You do not want to be caught disobeying any kind of protective order that is filed against you as that will cause you more problems in the long run even if you think this order doesn’t have merit you still need to obey it.

At some point after a so you can get your protective order notice you will most likely wind up going to court about the matter. This is especially true if you are under an emergency protective order or a preliminary protective order as both orders last up to three days for the Emergency protective order and 15 for the preliminary protective order or until there is another open court date.

For any kind of protective order to be effective and be an effect it must have been served to you either at home or at work but if this is not personally served to you to order does not take effect, you can contact law enforcement if someone tells you that there is a protective order against you and you were never so and law enforcement can advise you.

And last but not least…

While you should always obey a protective order that was issued against you, you can reach out to a criminal lawyer in Virginia to discuss the order, and whether it has merit. If you choose, you can go to court over the order to try to get it dismissed. Reach out to May Law, LLP about your criminal law needs.


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