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What to Know About DC Protective Orders

When someone has a protective order against them, they cannot have contact with the petitioner. The courts in Washington DC broadly interpret the term “contact” which is spelled out in the protective orders. For example, the protective order may include “No direct or indirect contact” as a condition. This means there can be no phone calls, emails, or contact through a third person. Also, in a protective order, there may be a required distance that someone would need to stay away from the petitioner.

Protective orders cannot be ignored. If someone ignores a protective order, they could be held in contempt and face criminal charges. Call today for more information about what to know about DC protective orders. An experienced protective order lawyer could explain your legal options and advocate for you.

Do Someone’s Rights Change After a Protective Order is Granted Against Them?

If a civil protective order is granted, the person’s rights do not change. Specifically, their rights under the Constitution do not change. However, they must abide by the order, and if they violate one, they could be charged criminally with contempt. When someone has a protective order issued against them, their ability to have a firearm in their home may be curtailed for a period of time depending on the specific charge.

Conditions in a Protective Order

When a protective order is issued, many conditions come with it. The protective order may prevent someone from going to a specific premises. It can require someone to stay a certain amount of distance away from the petitioner. It could require someone not to contact another person directly or indirectly through a third person, or through social media, email, or text.

The conditions of a protective order may require that the respondent to a protective order be required to stay away from the petitioner. It depends on the facts and circumstances of the particular case. The judge can impose a stay-away if the facts of the case warrant that action.

Third-party contact is a factor people might not consider. A person has their friend reach out to their girlfriend or boyfriend, and even if it is spelled out in the protective order, people do not necessarily think about the fact that using a third party constitutes contact with the petitioner.

What is Permissible Contact?

Permissible contact is identified in the protective order and is dependent upon what the petitioner agrees to. For example, the petitioner and the respondent are married and have a child together. The protective order requires that the respondent not directly or indirectly contact the petitioner except for the days when childcare arrangements must be made.

When the Respondent Lives with the Petitioner

In some cases, the respondent is forced out of the residence. They cannot stay there while the protective order is in place. Instead of requiring the respondent to stay away, the protective order may require that the respondent does not harass, assault, threaten, or stalk the petitioner. That allows the respondent to stay in the home or the residence but places stringent requirements on them.

If you have any questions regarding what to know about DC protective orders, reach out to a seasoned lawyer today.

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