Legal Professionals of Hirsch & Ehlenberger

3 types of protective orders for family abuse cases

Every family has unique needs based on their situation. They could have exact requirements with little to no disputes. However, others could have more complicated circumstances, including factors that affect the family’s health and safety. During these times, the court’s intervention could be crucial.

It is true more so for cases involving family abuse or domestic violence, meaning there are incidents of violence, force or threats by a family member. These cases could lead to severe physical harm, jeopardizing the safety of adults and children within the household.

Fortunately, the court could prevent further harm by issuing protective orders to restrict the offender’s actions and impose penalties for noncompliance. These three primary types of protective orders could apply to family abuse cases:

  • Emergency Protective Order (EPO) – Authorities could request this order at the time of arrest for domestic assault or battery. They could also request it from the judge if it is reasonable to believe that family abuse happened or will happen. However, they are only valid for a minimum of 72 hours and might require an extension if the victim is deemed physically or mentally unable to petition for protection.
  • Preliminary Protective Order (PPO) – Victims could request this order if they believe they are or could be in danger of family abuse. This type of order needs to indicate the hearing schedule.
  • Protective Order (PO) – The judge issues this order after the hearing with provisions that address vital matters such as restrictions for the offender, rehabilitation for victims, alternate housing arrangements and custody matters. It could be valid for a maximum of two years.

Additionally, the court could issue a specific type of protective order if there is evidence of stalking. The appropriate protective order could vary based on the case details.

What happens if the offender violates the order?

Protective orders are legally enforceable. If someone violates it, they could face significant fines and jail time. The law takes family abuse very seriously. These safeguards could help ensure the family’s safety while they navigate challenging circumstances.


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