Columbia Protective Order Lawyer

A protective order is a court order that commands someone to stop abusing or harassing the petitioner for a specific period of time. For example, in a dispute between people in a relationship such as a household member, spouse, or former spouse, to the point that one party fears for their safety, they can ask the court for a protective order. When there is a violation of a protective order under Section 16-25-20 in a domestic violence case, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 30 days in jail.

If you have been charged with violating a protective order or you want to know more about the aspects of one, contact a Columbia protective order lawyer. An experienced domestic violence attorney could guide you through the legal process and ensure that your rights are being protected.

Restraining Orders

A restraining order is a temporary order issued by the court that prohibits someone from carrying out a specific action involving another person. There are different types of restraining orders in South Carolina that may be put in place until the individual has a hearing in front of a judge on a protection order or a permanent restraining order.

An emergency restraining order is a type of order that may be issued by a magistrate in the county where the person accused of domestic violence lives in South Carolina. It is a temporary restraining order that goes into effect as soon as the party is served and remains in effect until the individual has a hearing on the order of protection. There is also a permanent restraining protection order that provides protection for someone by preventing the object of the order from contacting or harming the person seeking the protection order. There are different levels of proof for both types of orders that the judge reviews before issuing these orders.

What a Protection Order Requires from the Petitioner

A civil protection order may require the person to find a safe place to stay away from the alleged abuser. If they are in danger, they should immediately call the police. Depending on the nature of the allegation, they may need to seek medical treatment to document their injuries. Once they compile and submit the required documents for the order of protection, a hearing is scheduled before a judge so the individual can get a civil protection order put in place to protect them.

Modifying or Vacating a Protective Order

A protective order could be vacated or modified when there is a substantial change in circumstances. If things changed or both parties agree on certain things, there could be a modification to the order of protection. The individual who requested the protective order must go in front of a judge. The only way a person can ask to extend the order of protection is under good cause through a motion for its extension.

The person who has the order of protection files a motion for an extension of the order of protection with the court, the judge, the courthouse, or the clerk’s office. If the judge finds good cause for the motion for continuance and grants that motion, the order of protection is extended. A Columbia protective order lawyer may be able to assist with modifying or vacating a protective order.

Protective Order’s Impact on the Criminal Case

The effect of a protective order on a person’s criminal case depends on whether they are the one accused or the petitioner. When someone is the defendant, the order of protection puts in place a boundary so they cannot communicate or have any type of contact with the other party. That includes contact through a third party or through some type of electronic means such as social media. If the person does contact the petitioner, they are violating the order and face an additional criminal penalty.

It is important the person accused understands the boundaries and does not violate them. It happens quite often that someone charged with domestic violence violates an order of protection and receives an additional charge for contempt of court (violation of the court order). A Columbia protective order lawyer could attempt to mitigate the penalties an individual may face for violating an order.

Violating a Protective Order

If a person does not follow the order, they are brought before the judge for a Rule to Show Cause hearing on contempt for allegedly violating of the order. Some courts issue bench warrants to arrest the defendant for violating the court order. The individual is charged with a contempt offense and is arrested. They receive a new additional criminal charge for domestic violence which makes things much worse them. The prosecutor on the domestic violence case is less likely to negotiate if they feel the alleged injured person is in danger or the accused is showing no remorse. The civil protection order is vital in keeping the party charged with domestic violence away from the petitioner. They need to make sure they follow the order and do not violate it because it will significantly hurt their case if they violate the order. As soon as someone learns about a protective order being filed on them, they should contact a Columbia protective order lawyer right away.