Often times, when people go to court for any sort of domestic violence case, the judge will issue a No Contact Order. However, even if there are no official domestic violence charges pending, someone who is claiming they are a victim or might become a victim can ask the court for a Civil Protection Order or Domestic Violence Protection Order. For example, if you and your significant other get into a fight, they may go to the court and say they’re afraid you’re going to hurt them. If the judge believes them, they can issue a Civil Protection Order or Domestic Violence Protection Order against you. Even though protection orders are often used for Domestic Violence cases, they can also be issued in situations involving sex crimes, child molestation and child abuse, stalking, and/or other violent crimes.
Depending on the terms of the order, you’ll likely be prohibited from contacting the other person. You may even be asked to move out of your house. Protection orders also limit your ability to carry firearms under federal law. Some protection orders are very general, while others are very detailed. It’s important that you contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you find out an order has been issued. You need to start building a defense right away. There is too much at stake to try and handle it on your own.
Won’t You Get a Chance to Defend Yourself?
Yes, you will be able to defend yourself against a protection order, but before a judge enters a permanent order, they will issue a temporary order and set a date for a hearing to allow you a chance to respond. The problem is that even the temporary order can significantly impact your life in the short term by possibly not allowing you to go home, see your spouse, see your kids, etc. The thing about the Temporary Protective Order is that it’s intended to protect the person who filed it. The court is going to almost always grant the temporary order based on the paperwork the person seeking protection (“Petitioner”) files. The judge won’t usually want to take the risk that the petitioner isn’t telling the truth and decide not to issue order. The next thing the judge knows the petitioner could end up seriously injured or even dead. This is why the court will almost always issue the temporary order.
In Idaho, the ”Respondent,” or the person the petitioner is trying to keep away, will be served with a copy of the temporary order and find out that they’ve been ordered to stay away from the petitioner. In many cases, the respondent is taken by surprise when they get the order. This is especially true if the fight they had with their significant other wasn’t out of the ordinary.
Your Chance to Fight the Order
If a temporary protective order is issued, you will get a chance to tell your story. There has to be a hearing held within fourteen (14) days of the order being issued. This is when the judge will determine if the order should become permanent. It is also where your Boise defense lawyer gets a chance to argue your side of the case. If you do not believe you did anything wrong, your attorney can help you present evidence for your case. For example, if you have text messages where the petitioner states that they were the ones at fault, you can show this to the judge. It is at this hearing that the judge will issue a permanent protection order or decide that the prior order needs to be dismissed.
What Kinds of Things Will Be in the Order?
When the judge signs the protective order, they will include certain terms. Depending on the circumstances that gave rise to the order, these may be minor or quite restrictive. Some of the things that will be included in the order include:
- Who will retain custody of any minor children? Typically, the petitioner will be granted temporary custody. You may not even be allowed to see your kids while waiting for the hearing in 14 days.
- You may be ordered to move out of the home you share with the petitioner. This is almost always the case. Until your hearing, you will have to find somewhere else to live. The judge will also require that the police escort you to your home to get your personal belongings.
- You may be prohibited from having any direct or indirect contact with the respondent. This will include by phone, email, text message or social media contact. It also will include no physical contact.
- You may be ordered to stay away from your significant other’s place of employment. This can be tricky if the two of you work for the same company.
- You may also be ordered to counseling such as addiction treatment or anger management.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Boise As Soon As Possible
Being issued a protective order can be life-changing. It can impact your relationship with your children. It may require you to find a new place to live, and it will impact your gun rights while in place. With so much at stake, it’s really important that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer from Boise by your side. Contact us today!