Montgomery County Protective Order Lawyer
A protective order might be granted by a judge when there is a demonstration of a threat of immediate danger or bodily injury that must be presented to the court to secure a protective order. If a person is the subject of a protective order, they should understand what is expected of them and the impact it can have on their daily life. A person should seek an experienced Montgomery County protective order lawyer if they have any questions about the order. A dedicated domestic violence attorney can help a person understand their options during this process.
What is a Protective Order?
A protective order is an order by the court that is civil in nature but requires a person to comply with certain conditions that usually is a stay away order from another party and locations associated with that party such as their work, school, and home. When children are involved, sometimes a protective order is put in place to arrange visitation schedules for the children and how the visitation should be facilitated.
Understanding Good Cause
Good cause is when a judge is convinced by a preponderance of the evidence that a need for protective order exists. A hearing is conducted where a party under oath describes to a judge why they believe they are eligible for that relief. The judge makes the determination based on the presentation of imminent threat or fear that makes a protective order necessary in a particular case.
Types of Protective Orders
There is only one type of protective order, however, the different forms of that protective order are important. A Montgomery County protective order lawyer understands that these orders address issues such as visitation, communication between the parties, and provides for emergency family maintenance.
Communication can be limited to the parties from no communication at all to communication by email, telephone, text messages, or through an intermediary. Orders to provide opportunities for emergency family maintenance can be put in place when the party that is the sole provider of financial support for the family no longer lives in the residence.
The protective order outlines the obligations the person has to continue to maintain the rest of the family. That could include payments to the family, as well as payments of the mortgage and utility bills as stated in the protective order.
How are Protective Orders Issued?
Protective orders are issued by the court. When the protective order is issued by the court, it is usually at the petition of one party. A judge hears the matter after the petition is filed and makes a determination about whether a protective order is appropriate.
Length of an Order
A protective order can last up to one year. The first protective order is considered interim until a temporary can be put into place. A temporary order gives the parties an opportunity to prepare witnesses and things of that nature to bring to court to determine whether a civil protective order is appropriate. A final hearing can determine whether the six-month protective order is appropriate.
CAN IT IMPACT SOMEONE’S CRIMINAL CASE?
A protective order cannot be used as evidence in a criminal case. A protective order is a civil finding; the standards of proof are different from criminal proceedings. The procedures in which evidence can be brought for such hearsay are different in each proceeding. Therefore, there is no finding with respect to criminal cases when a civil protective order is put in place.
Civil protective orders are not actual findings as they relate to criminal cases. However, if a person goes to a civil protective hearing and makes statements under oath, those statements can be used against them in their criminal case.
When a civil protective order hearing takes place, a person should contact an attorney immediately to make sure their rights are protected in that hearing and in any future litigation in the criminal court system.
Vacated or Modified Protective Orders
A protective order can be modified on the motion of either party to the judge. It can be vacated if the judge determines it is appropriate or the petitioning party asks the judge to vacate the protective order. It is important for a petitioner to recognize that if they no longer wish to have the protective order remain, they must contact the courts, arrange a hearing, and remove the condition of the protective order before they are permitted to have any contact with the respondent in the petition.