If you’ve been the victim of harassment, you may be able to obtain an order of protection against your harasser. Protection orders are court orders issued by a judge that limit your harasser’s ability to engage with you. Protective orders are often called restraining orders. A protective order Fairfax can be issued against a family member, a household member or any other individual who is stalking you.
What Are the Provisions of a Protective Order?
A protective order typically stipulates the following conditions:
• The alleged harasser or abuser must make no effort to contact the plaintiff. This includes contact by phone or text message as well as contact in person.
• The alleged harasser must stay a certain distance away from the plaintiff at all times whether the plaintiff is at home or at work.
• The alleged harasser must stay away from any property owned or occupied by the plaintiff.
What Happens If a Protective Order Is Violated?
If a protective order is violated, that violation should be reported to the police immediately. It’s not necessary to call 911, however, unless there is an immediate threat to life or property. The violation of a protective order constitutes contempt of court. Though protective orders are civil orders, the violation of a protective order is therefore a crime and as such, punishable by fines and imprisonment.
What Are the Advantages of Filing a Protective Order?
Filing for a protective order is typically a very speedy procedure, and the burden of proof is generally lower than that which may be required by other civil remedies. A restraining order can be granted without a formal hearing, simply on the basis of the plaintiff’s sworn testimony. No fee is collected when a protective order is put into effect, and this makes it an effective legal instrument for individuals who don’t have much money to spend on legal remedies.
Filing a protective order also enables law enforcement to respond proactively to a perceived threat. Police officers can intervene in a potentially dangerous situation before any chance of violence can occur.