What is a Protective Order or a Peace Order?

A protective order or peace order is a court order requiring one person not to contact another person and may include an order to stay away from a certain physical location. Protective orders are filed in domestic abuse cases giving the plaintiff the ability to contact the police and have them intervene should the defendant attempt to contact, harass, or harm the plaintiff. Protective orders are also filed in other types of cases as a foundation for a criminal case against the accused. Rather than being heard by a jury, peace orders are heard in front of a judge where both the plaintiff and the defendant are given an opportunity to present evidence.

Why Do I Need an Attorney for a Protective Order?

People don’t realize how important an attorney’s advice is when filing a peace or protective order or when an order is filed against a person. Most of the time, this type of legal action is sold as a simple matter of not going to a certain location or contacting a certain person. The collateral ramifications of a peace order for the defendant are often intentionally understated so that it will not litigated by the respondent. In reality, peace/protective orders are legally binding and can often prevent someone from receiving a security clearance, working in certain professions, or even possessing a firearm. Further, if a petitioner has a protective/peace order against a defendant and that petitioner chooses to strategically and improperly abuse the system, the defendant can find him or herself behind bars due to a false charge they he/she violated that order. It is, therefore, imperative that a defendant in a protective/peace order proceeding hire an attorney to represent their interests.

Unlike traffic violations or other civil cases where the plaintiff and defendant do not know each other, the people involved in peace/protective orders frequently have a personal connection. This emotional static tends to cloud the underlying issues that can be addressed in a court either for or against a protective order. The person seeking the order may find that their evidence is inadmissible because they do not understand the rules governing how questions are asked in court and how evidence is presented. The person trying to defend against an order may not realize that their ability to object to unlawful questioning tactics or broken rules of evidence may be their best shot at having the motion dismissed entirely. Lastly, if there is an underlying criminal case pending, it is extremely important to have an attorney who will make sure the defendant doesn’t say something that will incriminate him/her in the criminal case.

What happens if I am accused of violating an order?

Violating a peace/protective order violation is likely to result in arrest. Sometimes a person who is not in danger may file a order as leverage in a family or civil law case. If you have a protective order filed against you, it is possible for your accuser to claim you violated the protective order, even if there is no evidence. At that point, a warrant is issued for your arrest, and you are arrested and could even be held in jail until your trial takes place. Only then can you present any evidence that you were not in violation of the protective order. The financial and personal ramifications of a protective order violation extend far beyond a simple slap on the wrist.

I need an order. Can you help me?

Having someone abuse, harass, or threaten you is one of the most frightening things you can experience. Sometimes a peace/protective order is your only legal recourse against another person. At Cohen|Harris, we can help you file an order. Not only will we help you get to the root of the problem, but we will also assist you in building your case, asking appropriate questions, and we will present your evidence in a manner that it best received by the court. Once your protective order is in place, we can help you understand your legal rights and get back to living a life free from fear. Call us today to discuss your case.

Someone is filing an order against me. Can you help?

Before you agree to any peace/protective order, contact Cohen|Harris to discuss your case. This seemingly simple action has far-reaching effects that can impact your home, your employment or even your freedom. Let us help you navigate these sometimes treacherous waters as you prepare a case, present evidence and appear before a judge in court. Should a peace/protective order be put in place, we can work with you to have it appealed so you can resume your life. Contact us today to discuss your case and let us help you receive the justice you deserve.