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Securing a restraining order (or “protective order”) can be an emotional, difficult process. No one wants to go through the ordeal, especially if you’ve already suffered threats of force, bodily injury, and/or sexual assault. But at times, it is absolutely necessary. 

The Pendleton Law Group understands what you are going through. If you are in need of a protective order against a person, object, business, or other entity, our restraining orders lawyers in Richmond are here to assist.

Understanding Restraining Orders in Virginia

A protective order is meant to protect a person who is at risk of violence or threat of bodily harm or puts a person in fear of bodily harm, sexual assault, or death. While these legal documents are issued to protect a person, not all protective orders are the same.

In Virgina, there are three types of restraining orders:

  1. Emergency protective order
  2. Preliminary protective order
  3. “Permanent” protective order

An emergency protective order expires 72 hours (three days) after it is issued or the next day that the court convenes – whichever date is later. A preliminary protective order will last for a total of 15 days or until a full hearing occurs for a protective order. A “permanent” protective order can last for up to two years, and it does not take effect until the person is “served.” 

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Do I Need a Restraining Order in Richmond?

Whether you need a restraining order depends on your situation. Although you can petition for a restraining order and get legal protection from it, it cannot necessarily protect you from experiencing violence. To best protect yourself, you need to talk to local resources who can help you develop a plan and stay safe, such as:

  • Domestic and sexual violence advocates
  • Victim/witness programs
  • Domestic violence service agencies
  • Sexual assault crisis centers
  • Richmond General District Court

If you decide that a restraining order is right for you, you will need to contact an experienced Richmond restraining orders attorney to assist you with your petition. We can assist you with the paperwork and help answer questions you may have about the process.

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Showing Burden of Proof for a Restraining Order

As the person petitioning for a restraining order, you will have the burden of proof. This means you must present evidence to prove that the full protective order is necessary. A restraining order lawyer in Virginia can help you determine if you have enough evidence to present before a judge for them to grant your petition for a protective order. 

To receive a full protective order, a judge must first grant you a preliminary protective order. Then, you will go to a court hearing where the judge will listen to your evidence. They will then decide whether to grant you the full protective order, which can last for two years.

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After I Get a Restraining Order, What Should I Do?

Now that you have your restraining order, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. First, make sure to carry a copy of your protective order with you at all times. If there are any violations of the protective order, report it to law enforcement right away.

Be sure to work with local agencies to develop a safety plan to help stay safe. If you need to travel outside of Richmond, Virginia, know that your restraining order will be valid in other states. Be sure to register a certified copy of the order in the city or county where you will be visiting or living.

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Get Help From a Richmond Restraining Orders Lawyer Today

Petitioning the court for a restraining order can be a stressful, emotional process. In addition, you must have enough evidence to convince a judge to grant you a protective order. Speak to one of our Richmond restraining order lawyers at the Pendleton Law Group today by calling the number on your screen or simply fill out our contact form.

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