A judge may grant a protective order if there is a reasonable fear for safety, injury, or harm from the person, and the judge has jurisdiction over the matter. It must involve people who are related or have some familial connection.
A protective order in Philadelphia law can happen one of two ways. During the process of a criminal case, there is something called a stay-away order, which is specific to the criminal case and tells the two parties to stay away by order of a judge. Violation of that could land someone in contempt of court and up to six months in jail. A more common process that does not involve the criminal system is the protection from abuse order. This is a civil remedy in which someone could be granted a protection order against a person who is required to stay away from them. It can also involve an eviction order or a temporary custody order telling them to stay away from the person’s children.
Temporary protection orders can last a short period. They usually last a few months until the hearing date is set. Some last as short as ten days, if that is when the hearing is set. A final protection from abuse order can last up to three years, excluding someone from harassing or seeing the person if they have been granted an order.
A tenacious domestic violence attorney could help you understand protective orders and the potential penalties if the order is violated. Speak to a Philadelphia protective order lawyer to learn about your legal options.
Family members, spouses, intimate partners, and people share custody of children may all be granted protection from abuse orders. It is litigated in family court because it is a civil remedy mainly geared towards protecting family members from abuse. Protective orders are issued by a judge in family court. There will be an ex parte hearing, meaning one party presents their case without anyone else there.
At that hearing, they could present pictures, photos, testimonies, or just their own version of events. They will say why they think they should be given an order to protect them from another person. After that, there is a temporary order, and a court day will be set for a more permanent order. At that hearing, more than one person will be present, and the person who has been filed against can present a case to defend themselves from having the order placed on them. A diligent Philadelphia protective order lawyer could advocate on behalf of the defendant during court.
A protection order can be changed via negotiation with the other party by agreement in court, by a court finding that there is reason to change what was initially put out in the order, or by vacating the order due to a lack of evidence.
If a Philadelphia protective order attorney can show a reason for the judge to doubt the credibility of the witness testifying, the order can be vacated or modified. This is also true if the person can show that there were ulterior motives for requesting this protection order, such as to manipulate custodial arrangements or financial motivations. Additionally, the temporary order may be modified at a further protection order hearing and can be made less restrictive by negotiation or through a court order.
A protection from abuse order can impact a criminal case because it can enhance the penalty someone receives for the charges laid against them in a criminal action. For example, if someone has a protection from abuse order against them, and they go back to the same property, they can be charged with burglary for entering that property. Normally, they would only be charged with criminal trespassing. Protection from abuse orders limit the person’s legal rights in regards to the person and the property and the children subject to that order. A violation of it could lead to felony criminal charges and make the court more aggressive and stringent when prosecuting an individual who already has a protection from abuse order against them.
A person who is charged with a criminal case and has a protection from abuse order may be viewed as a repeat offender in a further action. Additionally, the allegation in the protection from abuse order may become part of their criminal case, as would any violation of the protection from abuse order. It can be used to establish a series or course of conduct of similar behavior on the part of the defendant. A seasoned protective order attorney in Philadelphia could build a defense to fight against the criminal charges.
If a person receives a protection from abuse order, they should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If a person has a pending protection abuse order against them, they have roughly ten days in which to establish and prepare their defense. The order could have a huge impact on their day to day life and on their future. They could be restrained from seeing their kids, possessing a firearm, or residing in their home, even if it is legally their property.
In the long term, a protection from abuse order can harm their chances of getting future employment, make them ineligible to work at schools or with children, and other effects depending on the allegations in the order. The order may show up in criminal background searches, especially if they violate the order and receive a criminal charge.
A Philadelphia protective order lawyer could review the order and the potential criminal charges and help the defendant build a defense. Speak to an attorney today to discuss your case.