What are the 3 types of protective orders in Virginia?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Domestic Violence

Committing violence or making threats against a family or household member is an act of domestic violence or family abuse. Additionally, the family abuse must have caused bodily injury or placed the victim in reasonable fear of bodily injury, sexual assault or death.

To secure their health and safety, a victim can file for a protective order against their alleged abuser. Moreover, the protective order can safeguard the petitioner’s family or household members from the respondent. In Virginia, there are three types of protective orders to address incidents of family abuse.

Emergency protective order

A victim or law enforcement officer can request an emergency protective order if there is a possible danger of more acts of family abuse. This type of order is valid for 72 hours or until the next session of court, whichever comes later.

It can prohibit a respondent from committing family abuse and other criminal offenses. It can also prevent the respondent from contacting the petitioner and their family or household members. Further, it can grant temporary possession of the residence to the respondent’s family or household members.

Preliminary protective order

Meanwhile, a preliminary protective order lasts for 15 days or until the date of the final protective order hearing. It has the same prohibitions against the respondent, just like an emergency order.

Also, it can ask the respondent to maintain utility services for their household and provide other relief to the petitioner and their family or household members. It can even grant temporary possession of a vehicle under joint ownership.

Permanent protective order

After a final protective order hearing, a judge can grant a permanent protective order that lasts for up to two years. The court can grant an extension of two years for an unlimited period of time, depending on the need to prolong the protection.

The permanent order has the same conditions as the preliminary order. Furthermore, it can prohibit the respondent from possessing a firearm. It can also grant temporary custody or visitation of a minor child and require a respondent to join programs for counseling or treatment.

Facing a protective order

A protective order can affect your life and put your reputation and record at risk. If you have received a protective order, you must follow it to the letter. In addition, you may challenge it with legal guidance so that you can defend yourself and give your side of the story.