Aggressively Fighting for Your Protection in Norfolk and Chesapeake
At Edge Law, our attorneys work efficiently and professionally to protect our clients’ interests and safety. If you are in a position to seek protection through legal means, consult our firm for legal advice on the process. We take an aggressive approach to protecting our clients, and you can trust that we will put your interests and needs at the forefront to guide our legal strategy. You deserve to feel safe in your own life; we will help you fight for that with a protective order.
Needing attorney services isn’t always the most fun of things but if you find you need those services your in the right place.John M.
Are you fearful for your safety due to another person’s stalking, abusive, or threatening acts? Are you a victim of domestic violence? You may be able to seek protection by obtaining a protective order against the offending party. A protective order is issued by the court to limit the behavior of someone who harms or threatens to harm another person, particularly a family or household member. Protective orders can be used to address a variety of safety issues, including domestic abuse, family disputes, and harassment from another party. Virginia in particular offers 3 different types of protective orders that have different terms and durations – emergency protective orders, preliminary protective orders, and final protective orders.
Our firm represents individuals who seek to petition for a protective order and those who believe someone has wrongfully sought a protective order against them. Consult an attorney at Edge Law to discuss your protective order case in more detail.
Emergency Protective Order in Virginia
One type of protective order is the emergency order, which provides the petitioner immediate protection. It can be given “ex parte” by the judge, which means the apparent abuser does not have to be present or know that the order has been requested. However, they will be served the order before it takes effect.
According to Va. Code § 16.1-253.4(B), (J), an emergency order can do a number of things, including:
- prohibit acts of family abuse or criminal offenses that result in injury to a person or property;
- prohibit any contact by the abuser with the petitioner and their family or household members;
- grant the petitioner possession of a pet or companion animal; and
- grant the petitioner possession of the home that they and the abuser share and remove the abuser.
An emergency order expires at the end of the third day following issuance, after which the petitioner may pursue a more permanent order.
Preliminary Protective Order
A preliminary protective order is the next step to obtaining a permanent protective order. An individual must file a written petition at the intake office of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations courthouse to request a preliminary order, which lasts up to 15 days until the court hearing for the final protective order.
Va. Code § 16.1-253.1(A) establishes that a preliminary protective order can order the same terms as an emergency order, as well as:
- require that the apparent abuser provide suitable alternative housing for the petitioner and any other family or household member;
- grant the petitioner temporary possession/use of vehicle that they own individually or jointly with the offender;
- grant the petitioner exclusive use and possession of a cell phone number or electronic device;
- prohibit the offender from using a cell phone or other electronic device to locate the petitioner; and/or
- provide anything else necessary for the protection of the petitioner and their family members.
Final Protective Order
The final, permanent protective order lasts up to 2 years (with possible extension and renewal) and is granted after a full court hearing where both the petitioner and the defendant have appeared before the judge.
A permanent protective order can require the same terms as the preliminary order, as well as:
- order the offender to stop abusing the petitioner;
- order the offender to stop contacting the petitioner or their family or household members;
- order the abuser to participate in treatment, counseling or other programs;
- grant the petitioner temporary custody of the children or temporary visitation for any children they have in common with the defendant;
- grant the petitioner a temporary child support order for the support of any children they have with the defendant; and
- provide any other relief necessary to protect the petitioner and their family.
If you seek to petition for a protective order in Virginia Beach or believe someone has wrongfully ordered one against you, contact our team at Edge Law for legal support. With decades of experience in family legal matters, we are deeply familiar with the relevant protective order laws relevant to your case.
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