My Husband Continues to Violate a Protective Order – What Can I Do?
Protective orders, also known as restraining orders, are important legal documents that help people who have been involved in domestic abuse situations feel safe from the person who has wronged them. In many instances, the protective order is issued against the husband and it doesn’t matter if the couple is still living together, has separated, or is going through a divorce. If your husband continues to violate a protective order, there are some steps you can take to rectify the situation and have the court enforce the order against him.
Protective Orders Available in Virginia
In Virginia, there are a few different protective orders available for those who have suffered abuse at the hands of their spouse or another family member. The protective orders available include the following:
- Emergency protective order
- Preliminary protective order
- Protective orders
The emergency protective order provides you with protection from an abusive spouse immediately. This order is often issued after hours when the court has closed or on the weekends when the court is not open at all. Law enforcement officials can request this order for you.
The preliminary protective order is the initial step in obtaining a permanent order of protection from an abusive husband. You are required to file the petition for this order yourself, unlike the emergency protective order.
Protective orders are permanent. They last anywhere from two to three years. The permanent order is only issued after a hearing in a courtroom has occurred. Both you and the accused must have had an opportunity to tell both sides of the story.
What Can I Do if My Husband Violates the Protective Order?
Sadly, our attorneys are faced with this question often. Not everyone will follow a protective order. Instead, the accused will violate the terms by contacting the victim or even visiting them. There are two options in Virginia to handle the situation where your husband continues to violate the protective order against him. The first option is to file a violation petition with the court that issued the protective order and request for your husband be held in civil contempt. The other option is to call the police and have your husband arrested.
Your husband can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor if any of the following violations apply to the situation:
- He remains on the property, in the premises, or on the land he is restricted from
- He commits family abuse
- He commits a criminal offense
- He contacts you or anyone else who lives in your home
Your husband can be charged with a Class 6 felony if any of the following violations apply to the situation:
- Enters your home secretly while you are home
- Enters your home secretly while you are not home, but remains until you arrive home
- Causes bodily injury to you via assault and battery
- Begins stalking you
- Violates any provision in the protective order while carrying a firearm or any other type of deadly weapon
- Is convicted of a third or subsequent violation of the protective order within 20 years of the initial conviction and the offenses are violent in nature or include a threat
Modifying the Protective Order
Have you considered having the protective order against your husband modified? This can only be done by a judge, so you will need to attend a court hearing in order to request the modification. You will need to have a reason as to why you are seeking modification. You must file a motion to extend with the court if you want to have the protective order extended and it has to be filed with the court before the current order expires. An order can be extended for up to two years and you can file for extension multiple times.
Call an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
Has your husband violated a protective order from the court? Do you feel unsafe knowing he continues to ignore the protective order? If so, you have every right to speak with an experienced family law attorney about your situation. Call the Pack Law Group in Bedford, Virginia to schedule a consultation at 540-586-7225 today. Don’t let your husband continue to scare, or even abuse you, when there are viable legal options that can be used to help protect your rights.