Virginia Protective Orders

A protective order under Virginia law is an order that can either be a no-contact or stay-away order where an individual cannot be in physical proximity to another individual or have any type of communication. That individual would have had to have brought evidence into a courtroom that they are in reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury.

That is something that is issued automatically with domestic violence arrests for an emergency protective order in Virginia, or is something that an individual can file for and bring themselves. There are three different types of orders: the emergency protective order, the temporary protective order, and the permanent protective order.

To best understand the many types of protective orders in Virginia, it is imperative that an individual contact a Virginia domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced Virginia protective order lawyer can help an individual with their domestic violence case, and pursue the most effective protective order as it relates to their case.

Granting an Order

A judge can grant a Virginia protective order in situations where somebody alleges, and there is going to be enough evidence to corroborate the fact, that they are either an alleged victim of or they have a reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury, death, sexual assault, or similar elements.

An individual can immediately be granted an emergency protective order. The emergency protective order is going to just be a 72-hour order. The preliminary protective order is what would be issued after the emergency protective order lasting up until the full hearing for the permanent protective order. The permanent protective order can be up to two years, and can be renewed every two years.

Good cause, specifically, is reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury, sexual assault, or death. This can also be justified if an individual has been the victim of a crime.

Issuing an Order

Protective orders in Virginia are issued in two different ways. First of all, a Virginia protective order is going to be issued as what is called an emergency protective order. That is the first step in the protective order process. It expires at the end of the third day of the issuance, or whenever the court is next in session, so the next business day.

That protective order is going to be created by somebody who is either the victim of some domestic violence situation or by somebody petitioning the court for an emergency protective order. They then have an ex parte conversation with the judge, which is where they talk to the judge.

The alleged perpetrator does not get to be there. If the judge finds that there is a good cause, again, for imminent bodily injury, sexual assault, or death that the person reasonably fears or a person has been a victim of some type of domestic assault, then the judge is going to go ahead and issue the emergency protective order.

Types of Protective Orders

A criminal protective order and a civil protective order are the same things. A civil protective order is just one that an individual files themselves, and it is not attached to a criminal charge. For a civil protective order in Virginia, an individual files it without any sort of automatic issuance due to a crime. That is the only difference between the two. It is just a matter of language.

Virginia protective orders can include things like no contact whatsoever with the alleged victim and no contact whatsoever with certain household members including children or parents. A no-contact order means no phone calls, no physical presence near these people, and also no physical presence at this location or near this location. It is colloquially referred to as a “stay-away order,” meaning an individual cannot go to this location.

This might include language like, “maintain 500 feet distance from this residence and this person at all times.” The wording of the order depends on how the judge words it. By “stay-away order” it means the order of protection with information in it that tells an individual to stay away from a certain place.

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