Orders of Protection
Orders of Protection
If someone close to you has done serious things that have made you feel threatened or at risk, you may need to seek an Order of Protection. An Order of Protection will require the offending individual to refrain from contacting you or coming near you for an entire year, or else they may be subject to criminal consequences. If you present sufficient evidence in Court, the Judge may grant you such an order against the offending party. You may have also heard Orders of Protection referred to as “restraining orders,” although that is not the terminology used in Arizona law.
Who Qualifies to Receive an Order of Protection?
Orders of Protection can only be issued against certain individuals, usually just people with whom you have a close familial relationship, which generally means members of your immediate family. This may include your parents, siblings or children over the age of twelve, and your spouse or significant other.
When Would I Need an Order of Protection?
Orders of Protection are issued if there is evidence sufficient to demonstrate that the other individual engaged in domestic violence against you. Multiple forms of abuse may be considered domestic violence. Of course, physical abuse is the more obvious form of domestic violence, which may include hitting, kicking, or even shoving a family member. However, acts of emotional abuse such as threats, intimidation, or other abusive language can also constitute domestic violence. Other behaviors such as harassment or stalking may also be cause to seek an Order of Protection.
What an Order of Protection Doesn’t Do
Simply put, Orders of Protection only restrict a person from contacting you or coming near you for a period of one year. They also prohibit the person from coming near your place of business or your children’s school. However, protective orders cannot prevent a person from thinking about you, talking about you, or writing about you. Additionally, the fear of criminal penalties may not be a sufficient deterrent for some abusers. You should remain vigilant and call the police if you have good reason to suspect the other party is violating the protective order.
What is the Difference Between an Order of Protection and an Injunction Against Harassment?
Although these two documents sound similar, they are separate documents which apply in different situations. Where Orders of Protection only apply to close family members, Injunctions Against Harassment cannot be filed against family. Instead, injunctions may be filed against other individuals, such as your friends, neighbors, coworkers, and so forth. Harassment may consist of such behaviors as telephonic, online or verbal communication prepared with the intent to harass, or following or surveilling another person in public after being asked to stop.
Contact an Attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of domestic violence, or if you believe an Order of Protection has been filed against you unjustly, then you need the services of an experienced attorney to represent your interests. At GillespieShields, we are committed to providing you with quality legal service. Our attorneys are diligent, responsive and honest. Contact us today to set up a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.