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What is included in a protective order?

If you have been arrested for domestic violence, the alleged victim may file an order of protection against you. Generally, these orders allow the alleged victim to have police arrest you if you violate the conditions of the order.

An alleged victim can ask for an Emergency Protection Order when the alleged abuser is arrested. The emergency orders only last for three to seven days. The victim may later seek a protective order for a longer time period of one to five years.

An order of protection may include a number of provisions limiting contact. These orders can include other family members including children, roommates or other people connected with the alleged victim.

A no contact provision prevents the alleged abuser from contacting the alleged victim in any way. This includes calling, texting, e-mailing, following or attacking. In lieu of a no contact provision, there may be a peaceful contact provision, which allows minimal contact for very specific reasons including discussion of child care and setting up child visitations. A stay away provision requires the alleged abuser to stay a minimum distance away from the victim at all times, while a move out provision may be required to get the alleged abuser to move out of the house he or she shares with the victim.

Other provisions may include a firearms provision to require the alleged abuser to give up their guns or prevent them from buying a gun. Under a counseling provision, the alleged abuser may have to participate in anger management classes or counseling sessions.

If a protective order has been issued against you, it is important that you follow all the conditions of the order, even if you are not guilty. Failure to follow these provisions may lead to your arrest and additional criminal penalties.

Source: FindLaw, "Domestic Violence: Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders," accessed on Sep. 6, 2016

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