Virginia Protective Orders Attorney

Obtaining protective orders can help ensure that you and your family members are safe in the event you are experiencing domestic violence or other serious issues related to someone close to you. When you need assistance obtaining a protective order in the Commonwealth of Virginia, we are standing by to help. At Randall Page, P.C., our Virginia protective orders attorneys understand the laws surrounding these issues, and we are ready to help. Whether you need assistance in obtaining a protective order or assistance defending yourself from false allegations being used to obtain a protective order against you, we are standing by. Our family law lawyers regularly assist clients in the Courtland, Suffolk, Emporia, and Lawrenceville areas, so call us today.

A Protective Order Can Be Used To Help Victims

The courts in Virginia allow protective orders to be issued in order to help victims get away from dangerous situations. We want to be very clear here – it is crucial that any person be able to obtain a protective order in order to ensure their safety if they:

  • Have been the victim of an act of violence, force, or a threat
  • Have sustained a bodily injury
  • Reasonably believe they could suffer from a bodily injury, sexual assault, or death

There are a variety of cases that may lead to a protective order being the best way to protect a victim. This can include:

Protective orders are most commonly used in instances of family abuse. When we turn to Virginia Code § 16.1-228, we can see that family abuse occurs when a person commits “Any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury and that is committed by the respondent against the petitioners, the petitioner’s family, or other household members.”

Family abuse applies to victims of the abuser’s family and household members, including:

  • Spouses, whether or not they reside in the same home as the abuser.
  • Former spouses, whether or not they currently reside in the same home as the abuser.
  • Parents, step-parents, children, step-children, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandchildren, or grandparents, regardless of whether or not they live in the same household as the abuser.
  • Mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law, but only if they live in the same home as the abuser.

We want to point out that this definition of family abuse and the issuance of protective orders will apply in cases involving children but where the parents are not married. This can affect those who:

  • Have a child in common
  • Cohabitate with one another (are in a sexual relationship)
  • Anyone that has cohabitated within the last 12 months
  • Any child that resided in the same home as a cohabitating parent within the previous 12 months

Types of Protective Orders in Virginia

In Virginia, the courts are authorized by law to issue three types of protective orders when dealing with family abuse allegations. This includes emergency protective orders, preliminary protective orders, and protective orders.

Emergency Protective Orders

These orders can be obtained 24 hours a day, every day of the week. That is an incredibly important aspect for anyone to understand because emergency issues often arise outside of normal business operating hours. Emergency protective orders can be issued by any circuit court, a general district court, juvenile and domestic relations courts, or any magistrate.

If the courts are closed when you need an emergency protective order, a magistrate will be available in the area where you reside who can issue these orders. If the matter at hand is related to a police response, the law enforcement officials may also be able to obtain an emergency protective order on your behalf.

These orders can be based solely on the statements you make to law enforcement or the magistrate and do not require any additional evidence. However, these issues expire automatically at 11:59 PM on the third day following issuance (unless the court is not in session on that third day, then the order will expire the following day). In order to continue a protective order, you will need to file a petition in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for the jurisdiction that issued the emergency protective order, for a preliminary protective order.

Preliminary Protective Orders

A preliminary protective order is designed to provide victims protection from alleged perpetrators of abuse while they are awaiting a court date for evidence to be heard on whether to implement a full protective order. The hearing must be held within 15 days of the issuance of preliminary protective order.

The courts are allowed to issue preliminary protective orders without notice to the defendant if the person seeking the order states, under oath, that they face “immediate and present danger” or “evidence sufficient to establish probable cause that family abuse has recently occurred.”

At the hearing, both parties will be able to present evidence to the court. If the allegations are proven, the court may issue a full protective order.

Protective Orders

In cases involving family abuse, the court may decide to issue a protective order to protect the health and safety of the petitioner, the petitioner’s family, or their household members. The court can issue protective orders for a specific period of time, but no more than two years total. Prior to the expiration of a protective order in Virginia, the petitioner may file a motion requesting an extension.

Contact us for help with your case immediately

At Randall Page, P.C., our Virginia protective orders lawyers thoroughly understand the laws regarding these issues, and we are ready to get to work helping you today. Our attorneys are here to help when you need assistance obtaining a protective order against someone who has harmed you or your family or threatened to cause harm to you and your family. Our attorneys regularly assist clients in the Courtland, Suffolk, Emporia, and Lawrenceville areas. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 757-517-8956.

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