Most people are familiar with restraining orders and protective orders. However, a lot of the time these terms are used interchangeably. My goal is to focus today's post on explaining what each term means and the difference between the two.
When a person is worried about protection of himself or herself, restraining or protective orders are a legal process of warning someone to stay away. It is important to consult a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer about the laws of Georgia regarding restraining orders and protective orders in Georgia because every state has their own laws on each order and the process of obtaining them.
So, what's the difference between the orders?
A restraining order is defined by O.C.G.A. §16-5-94 and is a legal order that requires people to refrain from something or to do something. Restraining orders can be requested without the knowledge of the other person. However, the person will be notified if the restraining order ends up being granted and will have the opportunity to request a hearing to share his or her side of the story.
A protective order is defined by O.C.G.A. §19-13-3 and is different than a restraining order because it has the ability to have a much longer duration. A protective order can last one year to five years to a lifetime. Also, if a protective order does expires, then the order can be renewed if the person still feels like he or she needs protection.
These orders can include conditions such as absolutely no contact, a requirement of maintaining a certain distance away from the victim, or mandatory counseling attendance.
How do you obtain a protective order or a restraining order?
The person wishing to obtain either order must file some required documents within his or her specific Georgia county. The order will be merely temporary until a hearing can be held by a judge. Once the hearing happens, a judge will decide if the restraining or protective order should be granted or removed after hearing all the evidence. The evidence should demonstrate that either of these orders are necessary to protect the person.
What if it's an emergency situation?
There is also an emergency protective order. This can be utilized in situations of domestic violence in which the person shows that he or she will suffer immediate and irreparable harm unless the order is quickly issued. An emergency protective order is a short-term version and is limited to a week. It is advised that during that time period, the person requests a long-term protective order.
When a person violates the terms of a protective order or a condition of their bond, they will be charged with the felony offense of aggravated stalking. Many judges will either set a very high bond or no bond at all in those situations.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, it is vital for me to note that there are instances in which a person is falsely accused and a restraining or protective order is wrongly taken out against them. There are applicable Georgia Criminal Defenses, and the lawyers here at Lawson and Berry know how to best prepare your defense plan if you or a loved one has been wrongly accused. Contact us today.