Not every relationship is smooth sailing. In fact, most of us have to go through some amount of disagreement while we figure out how to communicate with a partner in a romantic relationship. This is especially true when people are trying to figure out how to live together in a long-term domestic situation.
While many couples are able to figure each other out over time, either on their own or with the help of couple’s therapy, this is not the case for every couple. Some situations end up devolving into domestic violence, where one partner abuses the other.
In such cases, abused partners may elect to leave and seek protection under the law. This is where criminal protective orders come into play. What are they and how do they work? Is it difficult to obtain a protective order? Here are a few things you need to know if you find yourself suffering a domestic violence scenario.
This type of protective order is often referred to as a restraining order because it specifically restrains one person from being in contact with another, and from coming within a certain distance of the injured party. If you live together, your partner is not only restrained from entering or being in the home while you are there, but he/she is also barred from any type of communication, including phone calls, text messages, emails, or standing on your front lawn yelling at you, just for example.
You may be understandably concerned about the relative efficacy of a criminal protective order. If domestic violence has progressed far enough that you’re willing to seek a restraining order, there’s a good chance you are afraid of your partner and what he/she may do when angered. How can a criminal protective order actually protect you?
What you gain is the protection of the law enforcement community. Naturally, everyone enjoys this protection, but when a judge grants you a criminal protective order, you gain the benefit of the doubt and the authorities will respond accordingly. Local authorities often receive information electronically from the court within 24 hours of the order being issued.
If your partner breaks the restraining order in any way, by coming too near you, entering the home and waiting for you, contacting you, or in some cases even contacting certain family members also protected by the order (children or relatives that live nearby, for example), you can report the incident and the police will take immediate action to find, arrest, and charge your partner.
A criminal protective order for domestic violence must be issued by a judge. This means that the injured party (you) will have to provide some proof of criminal wrongdoing.
Generally speaking, this could include proving that your partner has threatened you, harmed you, and/or given you cause to fear harm. In domestic violence situations, one or all of these circumstances may exist, and a police record of incidents can help you, whether formal charges were filed or not.
Unfortunately, the victim does bear some burden of proof if a criminal protective order is to be issued, but if you’re in a situation where you fear harm from your partner, it’s always best to seek help from authorities and try to get a criminal protective order if necessary to protect yourself and your family.
Bluestein Attorneys is here to help in Columbia, South Carolina. Our legal representatives would be happy to sit down with you and discuss the events that occurred, how you were injured, what steps you’ve taken so far, and help you look at your options to decide what you should do next. You can schedule your FREE consultation either by clicking the banner below or giving us a call at (803) 779-7599 at any time.