Domestic violence is not something any individual plans to face. It can be extremely frightening and victims of domestic violence often feel trapped in an unsafe situation. There are legal steps; however, that victims of domestic violence can take to protect themselves.
In order to qualify as domestic violence, the two individuals involved must share or have once shared a personal relationship. For instance, if your current or ex-boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife hurts you or your child, this will likely qualify. Violence in this sense is defined as intentionally causing or attempting to cause bodily injury. Violence also encompasses placing someone in fear of serious bodily injury, sexual offenses, and behavior designed to torment or terrify.
If the description above sounds like your situation, you can likely benefit from a domestic violence protective order. A domestic violence protective order, often referred to as a “DPVO” or “50b” is a civil court order. In order to get a domestic violence protective order, you will need to appear before a judge. The judge will typically have you explain what has been going on to warrant the order. The judge will then typically grant an ex-parte DVPO order, which lasts 7-10 days from the date of service. Service simply means making the individual the order is against aware of its existence. A formal hearing is not required for an ex-parte DVPO, as these are only temporary. You can get more long lasting protection from a permanent DVPO. In order to get one of these, you must appear at a formal hearing or obtain formal consent. It is important to note that while these orders are called permanent DVPOs, they last only for one year.
You may be wondering what the point is of obtaining a protective order. DVPO prohibits the person the order is against from causing or attempting to cause you bodily injury. It also prohibits said person from harassing you or seeking any contact with you for the specified time period. This means the person will be unable to show up at your home or work. It also means he or she will be unable to call, text, email, or message you in any way. Violation of a domestic violence protective order carries serious consequences. Violation of a domestic violence protective order is an A1 misdemeanor. A1 is the most serious type of misdemeanor crime. Punishments for this offense can include jail time, with the maximum time being 150 days in jail.
If you have any further questions about obtaining a domestic violence protective order our attorneys at King Law are happy to answer them. We are also able to advise you of further steps to protect yourself or your children.