An Order of Protection is requested by someone who is in danger of being physically harmed by someone else. An Order of Protection is a civil matter, but it is initiated by the Prosecuting Attorney's Office, at the request of the individual who has been harmed or threatened.
An Order of Protection is an order for a person to "stay away" from another individual, and, typically, that individual's home and/or workplace. A person is entitled to have an Order of Protection entered on his or her behalf if they can prove that they are in danger of physical harm by another person. An Order of Protection can be put in place for up to ten years.
There are several differences between an Order of Protection and a no-contact order, and an Order of Protection is generally considered to be much more serious than a no-contact order. Orders of Protection are placed on person's criminal history, and the violation of an Order of Protection is, in and of itself, a separate crime, meaning that a person can be arrested on the spot for violating an Order of Protection. A no-contact order is filed with the Circuit Clerk, and is enforceable only through the contempt powers of the court. The person seeking the court's assistance would have to file a petition with the court to have the other held in contempt, and then would have to serve the other person with a summons to appear in court. The judge would then hear the evidence and decide whether to punish the offending party.
An Order of Protection is not something that you want on your record. In addition to being at risk of being charged with a crime for violating such an order, a person under an Order of Protection is unable to own or possess firearms, and could likely lose employment, especially if they are in government service. You need a lawyer who understands the law, and who can present your case in the best possible way to prevent or limit the application of an order of protection. Rhoads & Armstrong can help. Please call 479-254-0135 for a confidential consultation or visit our Contact page.