How to File for a Protective Order in Virginia

At Strentz Greene & Coleman, PLC, we can walk you through the requirements, help you gather the necessary evidence, and assist you in filing a petition with the court.

July 7, 2023

You have the right to feel safe in your home and community. However, there are unfortunate situations where you may feel threatened or endangered due to the actions of another person.

If you are experiencing stalking, violence, or abuse, you have legal options to help protect yourself through a court-ordered protective order. A protective or restraining order is a legally binding order issued by a court that prohibits one person from contacting or harassing you.

What are the Different Types of Protective Orders in Virginia?

In Virginia, you can pursue three types of protective orders: emergency, preliminary, and permanent. Understanding the differences and processes for obtaining each type of protective order is critical to exercising your rights.

You may seek an emergency protective order (EPO) through a magistrate. If law-enforcement is involved the officer may request an EPO through the magistrate on your behalf. If an EPO is granted it will remain in effect, generally 72 hours, allowing you time to file a petition with the court seeking a preliminary protective order.

Preliminary Protective Orders (PPOs):

  • PPOs are temporary protective orders issued by a judge to provide immediate protection to a petitioner.
  • They are granted based on a petitioner's sworn statement or affidavit, alleging that they are in immediate danger of domestic abuse, stalking, sexual assault, or other specified offenses.
  • PPOs can grant various protections, such as prohibiting contact between the petitioner and the respondent, awarding temporary custody of children, and ordering the respondent to vacate a shared residence.
  • A hearing to determine whether to grant a permanent protective order is typically scheduled within 14 days of the issuance of the PPO.
  • PPOs are temporary in nature and expire after a specific period unless they are extended or replaced by a permanent protective order.

Permanent Protective Orders (PPOs):

  • Permanent protective orders are long-term protective orders issued by a judge after a hearing.
  • They provide ongoing protection to the petitioner and can last up to two years or longer, depending on the circumstances.
  • To obtain a permanent protective order, the petitioner must present evidence and testimony supporting their need for continued protection.
  • A judge will consider the evidence presented, the credibility of witnesses, and the best interests of the parties involved when deciding whether to grant a permanent protective order.
  • Permanent protective orders can include similar provisions as PPOs, such as no-contact orders, child custody and visitation arrangements, and exclusive possession of a shared residence.
  • Violating a protective order, whether temporary or permanent, can result in legal consequences for the respondent.

It's important to note that the specific details and procedures for obtaining and enforcing protective orders can vary, so it's recommended to consult the Virginia state statutes or seek legal advice for accurate and up-to-date information.

Get in Touch With a Fredericksburg Protective Order Attorney

Navigating the legal process to obtain a protective order can be complicated and emotionally difficult. A protective order attorney can help guide you through the necessary steps, represent you in court, and advocate for your safety.

At Strentz Greene & Coleman, PLC, we can walk you through the requirements, help you gather the necessary evidence, and assist you in filing a petition with the court. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you stay safe.

Return to Home
// Copyright Year to Current Year Webflow.push(function() { $('.cr-y').text(new Date().getFullYear()); });