Protective Orders: What You Need to Know

A protective order is a court order instructing a person to stop abusing or harassing the petitioner for a specified period of time. It is important to have a knowledgeable attorney at your side throughout the process – and each attorney at Smith Strong has monthly, in-court experience handling protective order matters in Virginia.

There are different types of protective orders that can be filed. It is important to know what each protective order does in order to ensure you are obtaining the right one to serve your needs.

Three Types of Protective Orders That Can Be Filed in Virginia

There are three types of protective orders that can be filed in Virginia:

Emergency Protective Orders
Preliminary Protective Orders
Protective Orders

Emergency Protective Orders

An emergency protective order may be obtained by a police officer or a victim from a magistrate. These usually expire at the end of the third day following issuance or the next day court is in session, whichever is later.

Preliminary Protective Orders

A preliminary protective order may be obtained by a victim from the Juvenile and Domestic (J&D) Relations Court. This petition must first be filed through the J&D Court Intake Office. The petitioner then appears before a judge, ideally with their attorney from Smith Strong, PLC beside them. A protective order specialist may also assist in the process. A preliminary protective order is usually good for 15 days.

Permanent Protective Orders

A permanent protective order hearing date is set once a preliminary protective order has been issued. Both parties must be present at this hearing and may have legal representation and witnesses. A protective order specialist can help the petitioner find a no-cost attorney if one is needed. In our experience, all parties should strongly consider hiring an attorney for their case.

Protective Orders are Valid in All States

Protective orders are valid in all states. Federal law mandates that all states enforce protective orders issued by other states. This is done in the best interests and safety of the victim.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse or fear for the safety of yourself or another family member, the attorneys at Smith Strong, PLC can help guide you through the process of obtaining a protective order.

H. Van Smith
Trusted Virginia Family Law Attorney Serving Richmond to Williamsburg