Family Violence Protective Orders
The Abt Law Firm, LLC Is Here to Help You & Your Family
If you are trying to get a restraining order against someone who is stalking you, your family members, or your children, or if an individual has physically hurt you or your children, then you may be able to get a restraining order under Georgia law. In these cases, the help of a seasoned lawyer is critical.
Likewise, suppose you have been served with a temporary restraining order by someone accusing you of wrongdoing. In that case, you will also need the services of an experienced lawyer to avoid having a more permanent order issued against you, which could affect many of your civil and criminal legal rights.
If you are trying to get an order issued or trying to have it dismissed, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced lawyer to fully understand your legal rights and the legal implications of this complex area of law. Our attorneys at The Abt Law Firm, LLC, are well-versed in Georgia law and have extensive experience helping people deal with these types of situations.
Restraining Orders and Georgia Law
A restraining order is the court and the judge ordering the alleged offending party to leave someone alone, at least temporarily. The judge almost always orders the person to stay away, both directly (in-person visits or contacts) or indirectly (contact by text, phone, social media, or through a 3rd person). The judge can order the person to stay away from one or more individuals.
Most people understand that a piece of paper alone, even when signed by a judge, does not necessarily prevent someone from hurting or contacting another person. However, once a judge signs this type of court order, the police can arrest the person to whom the order is issued when there is any allegation of direct or indirect contact.
Keep reading for more information on the different types of restraining orders you can get in Georgia.
Family Violence Protective Orders: The Basics
A restraining order, under Georgia law, is a temporary order that requires someone not to do certain things or make contact with certain people. Whether you are related to the person in the restraining order can influence how the judge issues the order and what restrictions are put in place.
If you are related to the person in some way, you should file a “family violence protective order,” which is a specific type of restraining order with special conditions attached to it.
Restraining orders can be requested without the other party being aware one is being sought. That is why they are temporary orders; if the restraining order is granted, the party against whom the order is against will be able to ask for a hearing to explain their side of the story.
Temporary (Restraining Order) vs. Permanent (Protective Orders)
A protective order in Georgia differs from a restraining order in many ways. The most significant difference is that protective orders have a longer duration and can, in some circumstances, be permanent. Protective orders can include children, other family members, roommates, or romantic partners of the victim. Some orders can last one to five years, while others may be for a lifetime.
Once a protective order expires, the victim can renew it if they feel threatened or it is still needed to protect them.
Protective orders can include conditions such as staying a certain distance away from the victim, their home, job, car, or school. The length is generally defined in yards, such as 100 or 300 yards. Other conditions can require the person to attend counseling or even pay the other side’s legal fees and expenses.
Suppose an individual to whom a temporary restraining or permanent protective order is issued is charged by the police or the judge with violating the terms of the restraining order. In that case, they can, in some circumstances, be charged with an aggravated felony and even held in jail without bond.
Special Stalking Protective Orders
A superior court and judge in Georgia can issue a special type of restraining order known as a stalking protective order.
To do so, the court must find the following:
- The respondent has stalked the petitioner; and
- The petitioner needs protection against future stalking by the respondent.
Understanding the Legal Terminology of Protective Orders
“Contact” is defined as any communication: in person, by phone, by mail or email, computer or computer network, or any other electronic device.
“Harassing and Intimidating” means:
- A knowing and willful course of conduct
- Directed at a specific person
- Which causes emotional distress
- By placing such person in reasonable fear for
- Such person’s safety or the safety of a member of his or her immediate family
- By establishing a pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior
- Which serves no legitimate purpose
“Stalking” (defined under O.C.G.A 16-5-90 and 16-5-94) occurs when a person follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person; or in violation of a protective order, bond or condition of probation prohibiting the harassment of another person.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
When dealing with cases involving protective orders, your priority should be to gather as much evidence as possible so that when you appear before the judge, your lawyer has as much information as possible to support them in presenting a case that establishes wrongdoing by the other side. Collecting evidence may include taking photos, videos, and voice recordings.
We know this can be daunting, but here at The Abt Law Firm, LLC, we are ready to provide you with guidance and help in understanding your legal rights. Later, we can act as your “sword and shield” in the courtroom, helping you to resolve this case, which may affect your life for years to come.
If you need legal assistance or representation, you are strongly encouraged to meet with and consult an experienced lawyer. At the Abt Law Firm, LLC, we have dealt with hundreds of these legal matters and have decades of experience. When you want a caring, reliable attorney to explain your legal rights, bringing you greater security and peace of mind about the complex legal matters you face in the future, turn to us.
The Abt Law Firm, LLC can help you with a restraining order, family violence protective order, or stalking protective order. Contact us online or call our firm at (678) 582-2272. We represent clients across Georgia.
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