In Atlanta, a protective order is a civil order that severely restricts or prevents a defendant or defendants from having contact with a plaintiff. Protective orders typically are filed when there is a threat or act of domestic violence. Having a protective order filed against you can have serious consequences, such as court-ordered counseling (and mandatory fees), forfeiture of the right to possess firearms and prosecution for contempt of court and/or violating a protective order.
If you have been served with a TPO (Temporary Protection Order) you will have to face a judge in a hearing regarding the protection order on the issue of whether or not the order will be extended. Once you or (defendant) receives service of a TPO summons, he or she must abide by it. Even if the order were to be obtained by false testimony. Violating the temporary restraining order may result in prosecution for contempt of court or violation of a TPO and you will be arrested, face a new charge, and probably go to jail.
Orders of protection can be extended for six months and even an entire year. Especially if you are in a difficult custody situation or this is not your first domestic violence-related issue it is very important that you have this handled properly. Do not try to do this on your own. That is a mistake. Take the proper course of action and call the Howard Law Group. We are aggressive domestic violence defense attorneys.
There are two types of TPOs. One is a Family Violence TPO, based on O.C.G.A. 19-13-1 of the Family Violence Act. In order to qualify for this type of temporary protective order, a petitioner must show that an act of family violence has been committed against themselves by the person against whom the order is being sought. That person, known as the respondent, and the petitioner, must fit within the definition of “family” as written in the statute. Finally, the petitioner must be able to show the court that the respondent is likely to commit future acts of violence against the petitioner.
The second type of temporary protective order is a Stalking Temporary Protective Order, based on O.C.G.A. 16-5-94, The Stalking Law. To obtain this type of temporary protective order, the petitioner must establish a pattern of behavior resulting in harassment and intimidation of him or herself. The elements used to prove stalking for purposes of obtaining an order of protection are the same as those used to prove the crime of stalking even though petitioning for an order is a civil proceeding. One reason: if the subject of the order violates it, the victim can file criminal charges of aggravated stalking. It should be noted that behavior that puts a petitioner in fear of his or her safety and which therefore can support a stalking protective order is judged on the basis of what is a reasonable fear for physical danger. Although protective orders are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and a subjective analysis necessarily undertaken, the objective “reasonable person” standard is nonetheless applicable.
If you or someone you know, has been served a Georgia or Atlanta TPO? Then you will need a Order of Protection Atlanta Defense Lawyer. As a Former Prosecutor, we understand what the State will do. Contact the Howard Law Group ASAP.