Domestic assault and battery charges make an abrupt change in the lives of whoever was involved in the incident. Protective orders play a large role in these changes. If granted, a protective order not only prohibits contact between parties involved in the domestic assault and battery case, but also can result in the petitioner (victim) being granted sole access to a formerly shared residence or vehicle and sole custody of children and pets.
Fairfax, VA, criminal defense attorneys Kassabian & Kassabian, PLC, works with people who have been charged with domestic assault and battery and who are respondents to protective orders. John Kassabian helps them understand the grounds for restraining orders in Virginia.
THE THREE KINDS OF PROTECTIVE ORDERS
If someone is determined to be the victim of domestic assault and battery in Virginia, they are referred to as the petitioner of a protective order, while the aggressor of the act is referred to as the respondent.
Petitioners are granted a protective order through the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, General District Court or Circuit Court. There are a few different kinds of orders, which can have different requirements.
- An Emergency Protective Order (EPO) is granted by a magistrate or judge and can be initiated by either the law enforcement officer or by the petitioner themselves (even if the aggressor has not been arrested). An EPO prohibits the respondent from contacting the petitioner's family or household members and committing any violent acts or making threats. Any pets become the possession of the petitioner. And the judge or magistrate issuing the order can add any other conditions they believe to be necessary.
- A Preliminary Protective Order (PPO) lasts for 15 days or until the petitioner's final Protective Order hearing. The PPO places the same types of conditions on the respondent as an EPO but can only be issued by a judge shortly after the petitioner has been victimized by domestic assault and battery. If the PPO is issued in the case of family abuse (versus that of an individual), other conditions may be issued, including but not limited to temporary possession of the residence and vehicle to the petitioner.
- A Permanent Protective Order (PO) is not exactly permanent, but it can last for up to two years and be extended repeatedly in up to two-year increments if the petitioner makes that request and the judge agrees. POs carry the same conditions as PPOs, and POs for family abuse address custody issues of minor children and treatment or counseling programs. Those who are respondents to family abuse POs cannot possess a firearm while the PO is in effect.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PROTECTIVE ORDER AND A RESTRAINING ORDER?
Protective orders are often referred to colloquially as protection orders or restraining orders. In some states, these refer to different documents; however, in Virginia, a protective order, restraining order, and protection order all refer to the same thing.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE THE RESPONDENT TO A PROTECTIVE ORDER
Hire a criminal defense attorney. John Kassabian of Kassabian & Kassabian, PLC, helps respondents to all three types of protective orders in Prince William County and Fairfax County. Contact him to take advantage of a free consultation. He can help you figure out what to do.