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What is a protective order and what can it do?

If you have been involved in a domestic violence incident, you may have heard the term protective order or restraining order and may have some idea what that is but wondered what these terms refer to. Protective orders are commonly referred to as restraining orders and prevent one party from contacting another party. Protective orders are commonly used in domestic violence situations to prevent contact between parties.

Protective orders are generally temporary until the parties can present why a more permanent order should be in place. Protective orders are sometimes granted without the input of the other party when imminent danger is involved. The duration of a protective order can vary by state so it is important to be familiar with the laws in your state and understand the details of a protective order as it relates to your situation.

There are serious consequences for violating a protective order that can range from a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail and, in most circumstances, the violation of a protective order will require some jail time. The punishment and consequences can vary by state and circumstance so it can be helpful to be thoroughly educated concerning protective orders if you have been involved in a family violence incident.

Because of the serious nature of domestic violence, and the far-reaching impact it can have on all the parties involved, it is important to be familiar with the legal protections available and also with the criminal defense rights available to those accused of domestic violence. Understanding how to utilize these rights can be essential in a domestic violence situation.

Source:, "Details on State Protective Order Laws," Accessed Dec. 20, 2016

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