Richmond Protective Orders

A Protective Order is issued by a judge or a magistrate ordering an individual to not have contact with another person and, depending on the situation, no contact with their children, parents or grandparents, for a certain period of time.

A Protective Order is normally issued in two instances. The first is based off of a criminal charge or conviction involving the threat of violence or sexual assault and the second is on a preponderance of the evidence that a threat of violence or actual violence has perpetuated on the individual seeking the Order of Protection.

Who can File for a Protective Order?

Anyone can apply for an Order of Protection. If they are not 18 years old, they would need a parent or someone acting as loco parentis or a guardian, whether it be their actual physical guardian, legal guardian, or in certain situations, the State to file it on their behalf.

Different Types of Protective Orders in Richmond

An Emergency Protective Order (“EPO”) will last 72 hours and a Permanent Protective Order (“PPO”) will last two years. After that two-year period, they can request another PPO which will last another two years. A judge does have the power to continue a Protective Order and keep it in place until a hearing can be heard so long as that date is within a reasonable time period and there is no objection from the defense.

Modifying a Protective Order

Protective Orders can be amended by motion and order through an agreement of the parties and they can be extended through motion of the aggrieved party after a hearing if it is outside of the two-year or 72-hour window.

Penalties of Violating a Protective Order

If a person violates a Protective Order, they can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor which carries up to 12 months in jail. If they have had too many violations of protective orders in a certain amount of time, it elevates to a Class 6 felony and even more mandatory time.

Vacating, Changing, or Extending a Protective Order

If after a hearing, if the judge finds that there is no allegation or a reasonable finding of threat or violence, the protective order can be vacated. However, an extension can occur if within the 72-hour mark a hearing is heard and the judge finds that there is evidence of a threat of violence or actual violence, then it will be extended for two years.

The language within the Order can be amended by motion of either party or cancelled if the accused can bring forth new evidence to show that there is no actual threat or actual violence.

Hiring an Attorney

If a person believes a Protective Order may be issued against them, they should retain the services of an experienced attorney immediately. A Protective Order could have a negative impact on personal relationships, housing eligibility, and employment opportunities. An order would require the accused individual to maintain a certain amount of distance away from the alleged victim of the domestic violence offense.

If you suspect that you may have a Protective order filed against you, be sure to reach out to a lawyer for guidance regarding your next steps.

Richmond Protective Orders