You should take steps to protect yourself, your children, and other family or friends, should you encounter an individual who may be a threat to your safety or well-being. Additionally, you should take into consideration the likelihood that your spouse may file a request for a protective order should there be past acts of violence or should they be attempting to gain custody of the children.
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Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
Domestic violence restraining orders are issued when a victim makes a request to the court for an order to restrict an abuser’s actions. Domestic violence restraining orders are court orders which restrain one person from contacting or harassing another person
Emergency Protective Order (EPO)
An EPO, although not a domestic violence restraining order, is a protective order issued at the time of the domestic violence arrest on the request of the arresting officer. The EPO restrains the arrested person from having contact or communication with the protected person and is valid for five (5) to seven (7) days; until the person arrested for domestic battery, criminal threats or stalking has first appeared in court at the arraignment.
Criminal Protective Order (CPO)
A CPO or a “no contact order” is issued in active domestic violence case through the district attorney’s office. Once a CPO is issued, the alleged abuser cannot contact the protected person by using email, letters, notes, or a phone. A CPO is issued to a “restrained person;” someone who has already been arrested, charged, or convicted for committing a crime against a victim.
Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)
A DVRO is obtained by submitting to a court a signed affidavit alleging facts about why you feel threatened by someone else. Once filed, a temporary DVRO, that is in effect for 10 days, will be issued. A hearing will also be set to determine if the temporary DVRO needs to be extended. You can introduce evidence of abuse or threats against you at this hearing. You should file for a DVRO if the district attorney has issued a CPO for your continued protection. Once an DVRO is issued, the restrained person must relinquish ownership of any firearms in their possession, vacate any shared-living space, avoid all contact with you, and can be picked up on suspicion of violating the DVRO. A DVRO can last up to three years. If a restrained person violates the terms of the order at any time during this period, he could be arrested, prosecuted, and sent to jail.
Stay Away Order (SAO)
A SAO is issued at the first court appearance of a domestic violence or criminal case arraignment. It is valid while the court has jurisdiction over the criminal domestic battery case. If a person is convicted of domestic battery, domestic assault or a related charge such as criminal threats or stalking, the court will have jurisdiction over the person who has suffered an arrest for domestic violence until probation has been completed. Probation in a domestic abuse case typically lasts three (3) years from the date of conviction.
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
A TRO is obtained upon request by a an individual who has made a domestic abuse complaint. It is not necessary for a domestic battery, domestic assault, criminal threats or stalking report to have been made with the police. However, it is common for a person who has filed a police report to also seek a TRO. If the person accused of domestic abuse, criminal threats or stalking had been involved in a dating relationship with the accuser at any time in the past, a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) may be obtained. If the person accused of stalking had not been involved in a dating relationship at any time in the past, a Civil Harassment Order may be sought.
A spouse cannot be forced to move out of the family residence unless the court issues a restraining order against that spouse providing for their exclusion from the residence. To seek a restraining order to exclude a spouse from his or her home you must prove an act of domestic violence has been committed by that spouse. Once determined, that spouse can then be ordered to be removed from the residence.
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