When you are first served with a notice that an order of protection has been filed against you, it is important that you remain calm and do not contact the petitioner (person who filed the order of protection). A judge will most likely issue a plenary order to protect the petitioner until your court date. This means that you should not contact them in any way, including having a third party contact them for any reason. It is important that you follow this order whether you agree with it or not. Acting on emotion or in an impulsive way can have serious legal consequences which can include large fines or jail time. It can also make you look guilty of abuse whether its true or not.
While you are waiting for your court date, gather any evidence that supports your argument as to why an order of protection should not be granted against you. This includes any videos, recordings, text messages, voicemails, documents or witnesses that support your claim. It is important to have an attorney represent you if an order of protection has been unjustly filed against you.
Hirsch Law Group fights orders of protection aggressively because it can affect your employment, housing and potentially your freedom in the future.
Aggressive Legal Representation for those Facing an Order of Protection
An order of protection or restraining order has to be issued by a judge. It is a court order to prevent the respondent (person who the order of protection is against) from contacting the petitioner (person requesting the order). According to the Domestic Violence Act, protective orders are limited to family members, people co-habituating, former spouses or couples who are engaged or dating. An order of protection is a legal tool for victims of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse includes harassment, physical assault, interference with person liberty or willful deprivation, or intimidation of a dependent.
Too often, order of protection can be used as an attempt to gain custody of a child or to get revenge on the respondent. A false accusation of abuse can be embarrassing and devastating. This is why it is important that anyone in this situation has an aggressive criminal defense attorney representing them. Hirsch Law Group has experienced attorneys that will fight hard to defend your rights. Not having quality legal representation when facing an order of protection can lead to job loss, loss of custody of a child or having to move out of your home.
Types of Orders of Protections
Emergency Order of Protection – Interium Order of Protection – Plenary Order of Protection
- Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) – Lasts 14-21 days. Does not require the respondent to be present in court and they may not even know about the hearing until afterwards.
- Interim Order of Protection – Lasts up to 30 days. A judge may issue this to protect the petitioner during the time that the respondent has been served a notice of the petition and the time of a hearing.
- Plenary Order of Protection – Lasts up to 2 years. A judge will want to hear both sides of the story from both the respondent and petitioner. The petitioner must be present in court to get the order. If the respondent doesn’t show up the plenary order of protection will likely be issued.
What to Expect in Court when Fighting an Order of Protection
When you show up to court make sure you dress nice, contain your emotions and listen to the instructions of your attorney. You do not want to give the judge any reason to make a quick judgement about your behavior. If an emergency order of protection has already been issued without a judge hearing your side of the story, don’t panic. It may feel unfair but you will get a chance to defend your side in court. Emergency orders of protection only last for a short period of time which is 14 – 21 days. It is important that you abide by it whether you agree with it or not.
Showing up to all court dates pertaining to an order of protection is important because a judge could issue a more permanent order of protection against you without hearing your side of the situation. For a judge, issuing an order of protection can be a tough decision because they have to decide if there is a real threat to someone’s life or if they are just lying. It is a lot easier for them to issue an order of protection if both parties are not present. They tend to take the safe route and issue an order of protection to protect the life of the petitioner.