Virginia Restraining Order Lawyer
If you are in the midst of criminal charges, you might be facing a restraining order or protective order during the proceeding case. Because of the differences between these orders in civil and criminal contexts, as well as the nuances and impacts they might have on a trail, seeking the help and counsel of a Virginia restraining order lawyer could prove to be beneficial.
Violating an order could lead to severe penalties. As a result, a skilled attorney could help to clarify your legal options, explain your rights, and help you to proceed under the current circumstances.
How is a Restraining Order Defined?
A restraining order refers to any court order that prevents someone from taking a certain action. A restraining order is often referred to as a “TRO,”— or temporary restraining order—and is often used in a civil litigation context to prevent one party from taking action against another party, until some piece of ligation is resolved. In the context of domestic violence or criminal cases, orders are offered referred to as “restraining orders.” However, the proper legal term is typically a “protective order.”
For example, a restraining order might be enacted to restrain a party from continuing a construction project—or from using certain resources—until it is determined who is the proper owner of those resources. By contrast, a protective order would be set to protect a person against actions by another party. If a wife asks for a restraining order against her husband, he may be prohibited from contacting her through certain means. The nuances of these orders could be explained in-depth by a Virginia restraining order lawyer.
Who Can File for an Order?
Provided that there is appropriate jurisdiction and cause, anyone can file a restraining order. Similarly, with a protective order, any party can file for one against another party—as long as they can demonstrate that they are in imminent fear of bodily harm or injury from another person. Furthermore, depending on the relationship between the parties seeking the restraining order, certain courts may have jurisdiction over the initial filing of a protective order.
The Penalties for Violating an Order
If a person is accused of violating a protective order in Virginia, they might face charges. This is because a violation of a protective order is considered a serious offense. Not only is it a Class 1 misdemeanor, but it also has a mandatory minimum penalty of active jail time.
However, that may be as little as one day or even several hours in jail, depending on the nature of the alleged violation. Repeated violations of a protective order can become a more serious charge—such as a felony offense. Furthermore, individuals who violate a protective order are often viewed as high-risk candidates for bond.
When evaluating whether or not a person is charged with a crime is a suitable candidate for a bond, the courts will consider Code of Virginia § 19.2-120, which covers certain conditions of bail in the state. Based on this, the courts will weigh on whether or not a person has violated a protective order to determine how to proceed. Due to the severity of potential punishments for violating an order, a well-versed lawyer would work with anyone facing a restraining order to understand how to best proceed.
Modifying a Protective Order
A protective order can be vacated, amended, modified, or dropped at the request of the petitioner at any time. This means that, if the party who is requesting the order decides that they do not want it anymore, they can ask for it to go away and it will. To have this done, there is no intermediary, like a prosecutor, involved.
Furthermore, a person can also ask to modify a protective order if something changes in their life or in their relationship with the person they have filed an order against. Generally, only the person who requests the restraining order can modify it, amend it, or have it dismissed.
The Impact on a Criminal Case
A protective order can have a serious impact on a criminal case. This is because, if someone has a pending protective order hearing as well as a criminal case, they may want to take steps to negotiate and resolve both. They may also not want to testify in a protective order case, because it may continue until after the criminal case is resolved.
Once the criminal case is resolved, the person’s right against self-incrimination goes away. According to the Fifth Amendment, all pending criminal charges have the right against self-incrimination. If someone wants to testify in a protective order hearing, but not be called upon to testify in their criminal case, they would want to do the criminal case first. A tenacious restraining order lawyer could work with a defendant in Michigan to navigate the numerous steps of these interweaving proceedings accordingly.
How a Virginia Restraining Order Attorney Might Help
If a person is involved in a domestic violence case—either as a defendant or a victim—they would want an experienced Virginia protective order lawyer to help them throughout the entire process. An attorney who is familiar with the procedures and inner-workings of protective orders could prove essential, as the burden of proof, legal standard, case law, and short-term and long-term impacts of an order might all be different, depending on a person’s unique circumstances.
During this time, having an attorney who understands the ins and outs of the protective order process, the standards in place for granting an order, and how the granting or denial of a restraining order may impact your future is essential. To learn more, reach out to a legal professional today.