All too often, domestic violence is an issue in Arizona family law cases. If so, a protective order may be appropriate and even essential. It also can complicate matters, especially when the protected and protected-against parties have one or more children in common. If you are in a situation in which you or your family is being harassed or threatened, or if you have had a protective order slapped against you, be sure to consult with an experienced Chandler protective order attorney.
Definition of a protective order
You may have heard a protective order referred to as an order of protection, a restraining order, or an injunction against harassment. No matter what it is called, a protective order is a court order whose purpose is protecting the safety and well-being of one or more persons who are being harassed, intimidated, threatened, or harmed by another person.
In Arizona, an order of protection usually involves people who either are currently or have been in a romantic relationship, or are related by blood or marriage. An injunction against harassment is the term used for protective orders involving unrelated or non-intimate persons. A restraining order typically applies to a criminal case.
Orders of protection may be temporary or emergency, or they may be permanent. Temporary or emergency means that the order is issued ex parte, meaning that the allegations from the victim or victims are heard without the defendant being present or even having notice. Usually, this type of order is designed to expire within a short period, such as overnight or within 10 days. It may be subject to a request for a hearing by the defendant, at which time the order may be dropped.
A permanent order isn’t truly permanent. Usually, it lasts only six months or a year, but with unlimited renewability. An order relating to an alleged perpetrator and victim in a criminal matter usually lasts for the duration of the court proceedings or, if there is a conviction, through the sentencing period.