What to do if in possession of a protective order

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2023 | Criminal Law

If you are in possession of a protective order for alleged abuse against a spouse or partner, you may be wondering what to do. Along with following the terms of the order, there are some things to prepare for.

There are various types of orders. If your order is ex parte, there will be a hearing date in which you have the chance to defend your case.

Prepare for the hearing

Even if you are not in possession of an ex parte order, you will receive notice to appear at a scheduled hearing. According to Georgia.gov, this hearing occurs within 30 days of the petition filing by the alleged victim.

During the hearing, both you and the plaintiff will have the chance to argue your case to the judge. Prepare for it by gathering any relevant evidence, including other witness testimonies. After the judge hears both sides, he or she will dismiss the case or grant a temporary protective order, which is in effect for up to 12 months. At that time, the plaintiff can request an extension of the temporary order or petition for a permanent order.

Follow the order’s terms

Throughout the entire process, it is imperative that you follow every term the judge outlined in the order. FindLaw discusses that some of the activities addressed in the order include:

  • Refrain from contacting the alleged victim and children
  • Move out of shared home
  • Pay alimony or child support
  • Attend counseling or substance abuse program
  • Forfeit guns and other weapons

If you violate any terms of the order, there are consequences. You may face arrest and potential jail time, fines or both.