An emergency order of protection – also known as an emergency restraining order – provides immediate protection to the victims of domestic and sexual violence, as well as people who have been stalked and physically and verbally harassed. These are legal orders of the court that prevent the person who is accused of these actions from being within a specific distance of the victim, or from trying to contact that person in any way. Emergency orders are granted when there is no time to await a court order because the victim is in imminent danger.
Types of Emergency Orders
Under Florida law, a person can obtain an emergency order for different circumstances, including:
- Sexual Violence – granted when the victim suffered any type of sexual abuse, whether or not official charges were ever filed.
- Repeat Violence – granted when the victim and the person accused were involved in a platonic relationship (friends, neighbors), and there were a minimum of two prior incidences of violence between them. ‘Violence’, in this circumstance, can refer to a threat, a verbal attack or a physical attack.
- Domestic Violence – a domestic situation refers to a victim who lives in the same house or apartment with the accused, or who shares a child with the accused.
- Dating Violence – a situation in which the victim and the accused do not live in the same house or apartment, but were involved in a romantic relationship at least six months before the emergency order was requested.
- Stalking Violence – granted when the victim is being harassed or followed for a prolonged period of time with no purpose other than to cause emotional distress.
What Happens After You Obtain An Emergency Order of Protection?
In many instances, law enforcement officers obtain emergency orders of protection in domestic situations in which the victim is under imminent threat or danger from the accused, and local courts are closed because it is a weekend or a holiday. After the emergency order is filed, authorities contact a duty judge who reviews the request and grants the restraining order.
The emergency order is effective immediately and typically lasts fourteen days.
Once the emergency order is in effect, the accused is prohibited from making contact with or coming within a certain distance of the victim. If the accused lives with the victim, he or she must find a new place to live, and in many instances, police officers ensure that the accused moves out without incident. In most cases, the victim will file an official petition with the court on the next business day to extend the order of protection to at least a year.
When determining whether to grant a lengthy restraining order, a family court judge will take into account the history between the victim and the accused, whether the accused has a prior criminal history, and whether the accused has tried to harm the victim’s family, friends and acquaintances.
Hire A West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney To Help You
An emergency order of protection is just the first step in the process of obtaining peace of mind for a victim of domestic violence. But to ensure that you receive the full protection you deserve under the law, it’s important to hire family law firm such as the team at The Law Office of Eric C. Cheshire P.A. Call our West Palm Beach divorce attorney today at (561) 677-8090 to discuss your case.
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Family law issues such as divorce, child custody, and alimony are complex and difficult to navigate without the help of an experienced family law attorney. Contact us today for a personal consultation with attorney Eric C. Cheshire.