Nobody should tolerate domestic violence. If you have been physically abused, harassed, or intimidated by a member of your family or household, you may have the right to obtain an order of protection. An order of protection makes it a crime for an abuser to commit certain acts toward a protected person. Orders of protection orders aim to stop domestic violence.
At Kollias P.C., we understand the deep and immediate emotional, physical, and financial impact that domestic violence can have on a family. We can help you determine whether or not an order of protection would be necessary or appropriate in your particular case.
In an emergency situation where there is no other way to protect an individual from abuse or harassment, a court may enter an order of protection based solely on the testimony of the person requesting the order. Such an order would last only until a full hearing is held, at which both sides would have a right to be heard. Both through the initial testimony and, later, at the hearing, the abuse victim must prove that the other person was either physically abusive or was stalking, harassing, or engaging in some other abusive conduct defined by law, and that an order of protection is necessary.
We understand that the legal process can be intimidating, especially for someone who has just lived through a traumatic experience. If you are a victim of domestic violence, we can help you navigate the rules and procedures of the legal system, and ensure that you present the strongest case possible when you request an order of protection.
We also understand the impact that orders of protection can have, both on the people requesting them and on those on whom the orders are imposed. Unfortunately, sometimes orders of protection are requested for improper purposes. For example, sometimes a spouse may seek to gain an advantage in a divorce or custody proceeding by obtaining an order of protection. If you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, we can help you.
At the full hearing (called the “return date”), the judge will hear both sides and determine whether or not an order of protection is necessary in a particular case. If it is, the judge can enter a plenary order of protection, which may last up to two years and can be extended for additional periods. The order may protect several family or household members—for example, both a mother and her children.
As part of an order of protection, a judge may order:
- that the abuser not strike, harass, intimidate, or restrain the liberty of the person or people protected by the order (called “protected parties”)
- that the abuser move out of the family residence
- that the abuser stay away from the protected parties, as well as their home, workplace, school, church, or other specified locations
- that the abuser not contact the protected parties in any way (including through third parties)
- that the abuser give up any firearms
- that the abuser return personal property and not deface any personal property belonging to the protected people
- that the abuser undergo counseling.
As part of an order of protection, a judge may also impose particular custody and visitation arrangements regarding children, order the payment of spousal and/or child support, and prohibit a person from removing the child from the care of another.
If you are considering seeking an order of protection, or if an order of protection has been issued against you and you want to fight that order in court, please contact the discrete and effective attorney Daniel J. Kollias for a confidential consultation.
For a free 30–minute initial consultation, please call (630) 912-8700, or complete our online intake form.