A judge will issue a restraining order against you if someone goes to court and shows that they are in fear for their safety because of your actions. Restraining orders are designed to provide some level of protection for victims of domestic violence. Unfortunately, some people use restraining orders improperly to harass or cause embarrassment. In these cases, you will want to fight the restraining order.
What are the requirements to get an Order of Protection?
A restraining order against you is called an Order of Protection. Anyone seeking an Order of Protection must have a particular type of relationship with the person who is harassing them. Under Arizona law, you can only get a protective order against a member of your family or your household. (There are other types of orders available against people who are not members of your family or household.) The law on protective orders applies to:
- Someone you are living with, or with whom you have lived in the past
- Your spouse (current or previous)
- Someone you are dating, or with whom you are having a sexual or romantic relationship
- Someone who is pregnant by you, or who has gotten you pregnant
- Someone with whom you have had a child
How to Fight an Order of Protection
Any court in Arizona can issue an Order of Protection. Only a judge can grant an order of protection. Once served by law enforcement or a process server, the protective order is good for one year.
As the recipient of an Order of Protection, you have the right to a hearing to determine the validity of the Order against you. It is here that you can make your case, including producing evidence and witness testimony to show that you did not do the things alleged in the petition for the Order.
If issuance of this Order has affected your custody rights, you have the option to:
- make arrangements for parenting time through someone else who is not party to the Order
- ask for a hearing in the court that issued the Order
- ask the Superior Court to clarify your custody rights (if you have a case in Superior Court for divorce, separation, annulment or custody)<
Do I Have To Surrender My Guns?
Yes, if the Judge determines that you are a credible threat to the safety of the person who sought the Order. You may surrender your guns to the local police or sheriff’s office within 24 hours of service of the Order. You may request the return of your guns when the Order is no longer in force.
Can I Talk To The Person Who Filed The Petition?
No. An order of protection directs you to stop harming, harassing, abusing or threatening a specific person or persons. This prohibition can include phone calls, text messages or other forms of communication. You will also be ordered to stay away from that person at their home, at work, and at other locations. If you defy these orders, you may be placed under arrest.
Will I Go To Jail If Someone Gets An Order Of Protection Against Me?
Not necessarily. The Order of Protection itself is a civil order, not a criminal order. If you violate the protective order, however, you can go to jail. And if the protective order is based on allegations that you committed crimes against someone, courthouse personnel may decide to refer the matter for criminal charges.
If you’ve had a protective order issued against you, you need to speak with an attorney. Call us today to schedule a free legal consultation!