Orders of Protection

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From the Spokane, Washington, law firm of Gina M. Costello & Associates, P.S., I have been handling domestic violence cases for more than 10 years.

Allegations of domestic violence can be a scary time for everyone involved, whether they are the victim or the accused. But you should know that we are here for you. You are not alone.

Orders of Protection

Protective orders are used to prevent contact between victims and alleged domestic violence abusers. These orders can have a serious impact on the freedoms and abilities of those who are subject to them and can affect divorce and child custody proceedings. Contact Gina M. Costello & Associates, P.S. in Spokane, Washington, today to schedule a consultation with an attorney to learn more about the consequences a protective order can have for you or a family member.

What is a protective order?

Victims of domestic violence can petition the court for a protective order to stop threatening or harassing behavior. The behavior complained of does not have to be physical violence. To issue the order, the court must be convinced by sufficient evidence that the person requesting the order has been abused or has been credibly threatened with violence. Protective orders are usually issued for a limited time, but also may be permanent. They generally require someone accused of domestic abuse to stop the abuse and also may require:

  • Vacating a shared residence
  • Prohibiting contact with the victim
  • Avoiding the victim's premises
  • Returning personal property and/or marital property
  • Paying child support and/or spousal support
  • Paying the mortgage or other bills
  • Attending counseling for domestic violence, anger management, drug or alcohol abuse

To enter a protective order against someone, he or she must receive notice of the order and be given an opportunity to challenge it. In some instances, however, the court may issue an emergency temporary protective order (called an "ex parte order") without providing notice or an opportunity to be heard to the alleged abuser. In these cases, the court will set a date for a formal hearing to provide the alleged abuser the chance to defend himself or herself.

For the court to issue the order, the parties' relationship must be one described under the state's domestic violence statute. This usually includes:

  • Spouses
  • Ex-spouses
  • Live-in boyfriends or girlfriends
  • People who share a child
  • Relatives, including parents, children and stepchildren

Some statutes require that the parties to the order currently live with one another, or lived with one another at one time or have access to the home residence. In other jurisdictions, the residence does not matter or only matters if parents, children or other relatives are the subject of the order.

Violating the terms of a protective order

It is very important to follow all of the requirements of a protective order. Violating the terms in any way is a violation of the law and can result in criminal penalties, including jail time. If someone crosses state lines and violates a valid protection order, he or she may be subject to federal penalties in addition to state penalties.

Speak to a domestic violence lawyer

The terms of a protective order need to be taken seriously. For more information on protective orders, contact Gina M. Costello & Associates, P.S. in Spokane, Washington, to schedule a consultation with an attorney experienced in this area of the law.

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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