Family Abuse Protective Orders
The process of obtaining a protective order in Virginia can be confusing, and the stakes are incredibly high. The order can affect a person’s rights to visit a child, possess a firearm, and prevent personal or physical contact for the duration that the order is in place. In Virginia, violation of a protective order is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which means that the person who violates it can spend up to one year in jail. Protective orders against family and household members can protect you and your loved ones if you fear for your safety during a divorce.
A family abuse protective order can be filed against any family or household member. Virginia law defines that as your spouse, former spouse, parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, siblings, grandparents, in-laws that live with you, or anyone else that resides in the home in the last year. There are three types of orders that can be issued: emergency, preliminary, and permanent protective orders. Temporary orders only last for 72 hours or until the next day that court is in session. A Preliminary Protective Order lasts for fifteen days until a full hearing can be conducted to determine whether a “permanent” order should be put in place. A permanent protective order lasts for two years, with a potential two-year extension if requested and if appropriate.
The person filing for the protective order must show the court that they have been the victim of family abuse and that the order is meant to protect their health and safety. Family abuse is defined as any act involving violence, force or threats that result in bodily injury or in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or death. To prove this, the person filing the order must show actual physical harm, proof of an act that threatens harm, or an act that placed them in reasonable apprehension of harm to the court.
Contact Us Immediately
If you have been the victim of family violence or believe that you are in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call. Our office is here to file an emergency protective order for you and your loved ones as well as help you through the process of filing for a permanent family abuse protective order with the court. Call or contact Duff & Kronfeld in Fairfax now.