Judges issue Orders of Protection, also called protective orders and restraining orders, when a party tells the court that they feel endangered by another person’s presence. Judges commonly issue protective orders after reported domestic violence, but they are appropriate in other instances.
Unfortunately, people often misuse this tool. Someone might exaggerate or even fabricate an incident to gain an order of protection. They might do so to embarrass or inconvenience the other party or gain an advantage in a child custody dispute.
Speak with an experienced domestic violence attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group if a judge issued a restraining order against you. They can petition the judge to lift the order. If you face charges for violating a restraining order, a Scottsdale protective orders lawyer could raise a vigorous defense.
Protective orders bar the subject of the order—the respondent—from approaching or communicating with the complainant—the person who asked for the order. If the complainant and the respondent share a home, the respondent must move immediately. An order of protection usually remains in effect for one year or until a judge lifts it.
The respondent may be locked out of their home and unable to retrieve their belongings or see their children. Orders of protection require the respondent to:
Orders of protection might contain other prohibitions, depending on the specific circumstances.
Complying with a protective order can cause a respondent considerable inconvenience and hardship. However, violating the order is a crime with severe consequences. A well-practiced Scottsdale attorney could advise a respondent about arranging retrieval of essential belongings or visits with children without violating the protective order.
When a respondent allegedly defied an order of protection, they could be arrested without a warrant. Someone who allegedly violated a protective order could face criminal charges under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-2810.
This crime is usually a class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction could lead to a jail sentence of up to six months and a fine of up to $2,500. If someone repeatedly violates a protective order, they could face felony charges.
In addition, prosecutors will often charge the respondent with a crime related to their violation. For example, if the respondent sends texts to the complainant, prosecutors might charge harassment as well as violations of the order. A respondent could end up facing multiple charges which could put them in jail for months or even longer.
Protective orders are necessary in some cases, but they are unduly disruptive if the respondent poses no threat to the complainant. When the basis for issuing the order is false or flimsy, a respondent could challenge it.
The respondent must file a petition with the court to modify or lift the order. The court must schedule a hearing within ten days, or five days if the order requires the respondent to vacate their home. The court will hear testimony from the respondent and the complainant about why the court should keep the order in place, modify it, or lift it.
There is a presumption toward keeping protective orders in place in most cases. However, if a skilled protective orders lawyer in Scottsdale could prove the complainant fabricated the basis for the order, a judge might vacate it. In other cases, courts could modify the order to make it easier for the respondent to comply, see their children, or engage in other necessary activities.
Complying with a protective order is inconvenient and might cause hardship. However, strict compliance is critical to avoid more charges.
If you face charges of violating a protective order or want to persuade a judge to lift the order, a Scottsdale protective orders lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group can help. Call today to discuss your situation with one of our former prosecutors, now dedicated criminal defense attorneys.