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What You Should Do If There is a Protective Order Against You

After a domestic incident, it’s common for a protective order to be issued. If you are on the receiving end, you may feel frustrated by this legal action taken against you. This is especially true if you feel you are being portrayed as someone dangerous, when you are not. Instead of acting rashly upon receiving notice of the protection order, here’s what you should do.

Common Reasons Protective Orders are Issued

In Alabama, individuals are allowed to file a protective order after a domestic incident, or if they believe they are in danger.

This may be due to:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Assault
  • Rape
  • Stalking
  • Harassment

Steps To Take If A Protective Order Has Been Filed Against You

Contact a Lawyer

Once you know someone has filed for a protective order against you, contact an attorney. They can help you understand what this means, what actions you should take, and can defend you against criminal charges that may accompany the order. For example, domestic violence charges may come at the same time, or shortly after a protective order is issued.

Prepare for A Case or Trial

If you have been charged with a crime in connection to the protective order, you’ll need to begin preparing for a potential trial. In your preparation, you should collect any evidence that will help your case. This could be text messages, phone records, physical evidence, potential witnesses, etc. Ideally, it will be any evidence that either shows you’re innocent or proves the individual who filed the protection order was actually the instigator of the incident.

Follow the Order

Even if you feel the protective order is unnecessary, don’t violate the terms of the order. You may feel the urge to clear things up with the person who filed the order, or feel a short conversation won’t lead to trouble. However, you should never take this risk. Violating a protective order can lead to more serious penalties. Instead, be patient, and have faith that there will be a positive resolution.

Don’t Discuss the Protective Order

As with all legal cases, it’s best to keep most information private. Refrain from telling others that someone has filed a protective order against you. Spreading information about the events leading to the protective order could end up affecting your case. Not only this, but people may have preconceived notions about individuals who have protective orders against them. This may lead people to judge you and assume you are dangerous, without knowing all of the facts.

Don’t Destroy Evidence

As you begin working on your case, you may find some evidence that hurts your case. Even if you feel like you can get rid of it without being caught, don’t. Destroying evidence, like violating the order, can lead to further consequences.

What Happens if You Live Together?

If you live with the individual who has filed a protective order against you, the judge will likely require you to leave the residence.

The judge may impose additional restrictions as well, like:

  • Require you to stop communication with, and stay away from, any children you share with the alleged victim
  • Require you to pay the alleged victim’s attorney fees
  • Give the alleged victim use of your car if they need it

While these all are frustrating and difficult consequences, always remember to follow the conditions of the protective order. Work with your attorney to resolve the situation and put this incident behind you.

Birmingham Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have recently been charged with domestic violence and have an active protective order against you, contact our team at Burrell & McCants, LLC. Our attorneys can help you better understand the situation, provide guidance, and be an advocate for you during this difficult time.