Protective orders are designed to help keep family and household members safe from domestic violence. Whether you are looking for a Protective Order or need help because you are the subject of one, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who has been on both sides of these hearings and knows what the law requires to warrant issuing an order. These legal mandates can change your life in complex ways. Violating them can result in criminal charges and other serious penalties.
A Charleston protective order lawyer understands the law and how to put it to use for you. Let our office help you with your case.
The Difference Between a Restraining and Protective Orders
A ruling like this, officially named an Order of Protection under South Carolina Code § 20-4-40, is meant to protect against abuse of family and household members. Stated another way, this is specifically meant to stop domestic abuse from continuing to occur. These orders are granted by a Family Court judge.
Restraining orders, on the other hand, are for persons who are not family or household members. This could be someone who is stalking or harassing another but does not meet the definition of family or household member. These orders are usually granted by a Magistrate Court judge.
An experienced criminal defense attorney in Charleston could further explain the difference between protective and restraining orders.
Who Can Seek an Order of Protection in Charleston?
A person may obtain a Protective Order if they have suffered physical harm or threats of physical harm from a family or household member. These individuals include a spouse or former spouse, people with a child in common, or those who live together or formerly lived together.
Where Can a Person File Their Request?
A person may file their petition with the family court in any of the following counties:
- Where the alleged abuse occurred
- Where the petitioner lives or is sheltered unless that person is in another state
- The county where the alleged perpetrator resides unless it is in another state
- The county where the two parties last lived together
Knowing the right place in Charleston to file for a protective order may be tricky without a competent attorney to guide the way.
What Happens after Filling a Request
A person files for a protective order by filing a petition with the family court. The court may then hold a hearing within twenty-four hours if the judge finds that an emergency exists. If the court finds that that an emergency exists and a Protective Order is necessary, the following are common directives within a Protective Order:
- No contact with the petitioner
- No abuse or threats against the petitioner
- Determine custody issues for children
- Pay temporary child or spousal support
- Prohibit the destruction or transfer of property
These are just a few of the likely directives a judge could issue. To learn more about what types of rules might be included in an Emergency Protective Order, talk to a Charleston attorney now.
Seek Help from a Charleston Protective Order Attorney Now
If you need help obtaining a protective order or dealing with one filed against you, our attorneys are experienced and capable in handling these matters. Conflicts with family or household members can be difficult, but your rights deserve to be safe.
Let an experienced Charleston protective order lawyer help you with your case. Contact our office today to learn more about your options.