You have been served with a protective order. You probably have a lot of questions.
I have been served with a protective order from the Sheriff's Department. What do I do? What are my rights? Why is the hearing a few days from now? What happens if I miss one and not the one after? How long is this protective order going to last? Why do I have to give up my guns? Do I have any options? What if I have evidence that nothing happened?
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.
What do I do?
You must read the order. You must follow the order. You may want to resolve issues with the alleged victim, gather your belongings, explain the situation to the alleged victim or even see your children. You should not take any action that may violate the terms of the protective order before having an opportunity to ask the Judge for relief.
Further, as an attorney I believe you should contact an attorney. Usually, there are many things that are put in limbo at this point. 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.
§ 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.
Josephia Rouse Esq.