Guide to Filing a Protective Order in Northern Virginia
A Virginia Protective Order is an extremely powerful legal tool for protecting the health and safety of a person and that person’s family or household members.
If you have been the victim of an act of violence, force, threat, or abuse – whether by your spouse, significant other, family member, co-worker, classmate, or even a complete stranger – you have a right, under the law, to petition for a Protective Order. At King, Campbell, Poretz & Mitchell, our Protective Order attorneys have successfully represented hundreds of individuals in Protective Order cases in courts throughout Virginia.
When to Seek an Order of Protection in Virginia
People seek Protective Orders for many reasons, including domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, internet harassment, threats, and school bullying. Parents can petition for a Protective Order on behalf of their children. If the court issues a Protective Order, it can extend protection not only to the victim, but to their family and household members as well.
A Comprehensive Approach
Oftentimes, a Protective Order case can have a significant impact on other matters such as divorce, child custody, child support, and visitation. In domestic violence cases, where the victim and the abuser are married and have children, the Protective Order is oftentimes the first step for the victim to break with their abuser.
What Does a Protective Order Do?
In addition to prohibiting contact and abusive behavior, Protective Orders can also include provisions related to child custody, possession of a residence, possession of a vehicle, payment of rent and utilities, and requiring the respondent to participate in treatment. At King, Campbell, Poretz & Mitchell, our Protective Order attorneys work with clients to develop a comprehensive strategy that both ensures their safety, and safeguards their legal rights in these related areas.
What Happens When a Protective Order is Violated?
While a Protective Order itself is a civil order, it is a serious crime to violate provisions of a Protective Order involving prohibited contact or acts of abuse. Other provisions of a Protective Order, such as rent payment or temporary child custody and visitation, are enforceable through the court’s authority to punish contempt.
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