Did You Violate an Order of Protection?
The purpose of an Order of Protection, often called a “Restraining Order”, is to protect an individual who is fearful of an act of domestic violence or harassment. This order is not issued in a criminal court proceeding, but a civil proceeding. The court order can issue a variety of restrictions based on what the court perceives is necessary to protect the Petitioner. A protective order is valid for the period of one year. If the recipient of the order fails to comply with the order, criminal charges will be filed.
The Order of Protection, pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 13-3602, is designed to prevent someone from committing an act of domestic violence. The order can only be applied to those individuals in the the following types of domestic relationships:
- Spouses or ex-spouses;
- Dating couples;
- Couples with a child or pregnancy in common; or
- Parents and children; grandparents and grandchildren, siblings.
In order to obtain an Order of Protection, the petitioner must provide sufficient evidence to the court to support the reasonable belief that the defendant has committed some act of domestic violence against the petitioner. The defendant is not present at the initial hearing. If the court determines, after sworn testimony from the petitioner, to grant the permanent Order of Protection, the order must be served on the defendant and it good for one year. Once the order is granted at the initial hearing, the defendant may request a subsequent hearing to vacate or modify the order. If the court does not believe, after sworn testimony from the petitioner at the initial hearing that the petitioner provided sufficient evidence for the order, the court may schedule an additional hearing within ten days, with notice to the defendant.
The first line of defense against an unfair Order of Protection is to challenge that order in court. A successful domestic violence defense can be set forth and it is best if you have an attorney experienced to handle such matters.
Once served with the Order of Protection, do not in any way violate any term of the order. If the order is violated, the police will charge you with a Violation of the Order of Protection, a class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction of this offense carries a maximum possible sentence of up to six months in jail, a $2,500 fine, and up to three years probation, along with loss of your right to possess a fireman and domestic violence classes with could last several months.
If you are the defendant in an Order of Protection or charged with the crime of violating an Order of Protection, contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, now. Your freedom, your rights and your future are at stake. It is very important that you speak to an experienced and aggressive attorney who is familiar with such cases. Robert A. Dodell provides individual service when protecting your rights. Contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, directly by email or by calling 480-860-4321 now for a free initial consultation.