I was served/received a temporary protective order? What are my rights? What happens now?
The following legal advice is meant to clarify some issues that come from the above questions. It is not possible to give you a complete answer to your situation. If you are attempting to make a decision on your situation you should contact my law office and schedule a consultation.
I received a protective order, what is going on?
Someone has gone to your local courthouse and asked the court to order you to not contact them. You should read the entire order to ensure you do not violate any of it's terms. Sometimes the court only orders you to not have any criminal contact with the person. Sometimes the court orders no contact at all with the person. This order is civil, but a violation of the order makes it a criminal offense. Notably, testimony from this case may be used against you in a criminal case.
What can happen at this hearing?
Most protective order hearings are done on a protective order docket with other protective orders. The court usually explains the process in the beginning and start the docket. The courts each have their own process but usually call lawyers with clients first. They also may call people with agreements in the beginning as well.
The following may be determined on a temporary basis at a protective order hearing.
EVICTION FROM HOME
What do I do?
You must read the order. You must follow the order. You want to review the order and see what type of contact restrictions were ordered.
Although you may want to resolve issues with the alleged victim, go to your home and gather your belongings, explain the situation to the alleged victim or even see your children; you should not take any actions that violate the terms of the protective order.
Finances, child custody schedules, housing, possession of guns, employment, ownership and accounting of personal property may be affected by the protective order. An experienced attorney can assist you with these issues and insure your rights are protected. If the protective order sparks a child custody, child support or divorce case an attorney can help you navigate through your next steps.
What are my rights?
You have a right to be heard by a Judge. Protective Order hearing are held within a week. You have a right to call witnesses, present evidence and testify on your behalf. Many times it may be in your best interest not to testify at all. An attorney can assist you with making that call.
The protective order has multiple dates. I can't miss that much work but I want to resolve this What can I do?
You can hire an attorney to assist you. You can call the clerk's office to see if they will allow a postponement.
Why do I have to give up my guns?
It is state law. The following is a snippet of that law.
§ 5-133. Restrictions on Possession of Regulated Firearms
Transport of regulated firearms
(e) This section does not apply to a respondent transporting a regulated firearm if the respondent is carrying a civil protective order requiring the surrender of the regulated firearm and:
(1) the regulated firearm is unloaded;
(2) the respondent has notified the law enforcement unit, barracks, or station that the regulated firearm is being transported in accordance with the civil protective order;
(3) the respondent transports the regulated firearm directly to the law enforcement unit, barracks, or station; and
The court does not make that decision in your case alone. In protective order cases generally guns must be turned over to your local sheriff's department.
What if I have evidence that nothing happened?
The Law Offices of Josephia Rouse can assist you with going over your evidence and determining if that will provide you with the best chance of a positive outcome in your case. We will give you our honest and thorough opinion on how that evidence may impact the court's decision.
Do I have any other options?
You may have many options. The biggest step you can take at this time is to contact The Law Offices of Josephia Rouse so that your situation can be analyzed. Your decisions at this point are critical to how you will be able to move forward with the rest of your life. Contact our office today.