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4 Steps to Take if You've Been Served With a Protective Order

Protective orders serve several purposes in Nevada. For example, someone who is being abused may need to protect themselves from harm. Criminal charges could eventually result in the protection they need, but the criminal justice system is slow. The victim could be in danger for months or years as the process carries on. 

Unfortunately, though, while protective orders offer safety to abuse victims, these orders can be abused as well. Not all protective orders are requested from the courts in good faith. Sometimes, people will use the relatively lax standards in place for getting protective orders to harm the target of the order.

Being served with a protective order can happen quite suddenly. It can be stressful to experience, especially if you have done nothing to deserve a protective order. But the wrong response can be detrimental to your future, even if you are innocent. 

To protect yourself after being served with a protective order, make sure that you take these four crucial steps:

1. Contact a Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyer

The first mistake many people make after being served with a protective order is that they don’t take it seriously. Protective orders are granted by courts and enforced by the criminal justice system. You can’t afford to treat it lightly.

It’s important to contact a Nevada criminal defense attorney immediately after being served with a protective lawyer. Your lawyer can examine the order and advise you on what it covers. For example, a protective order could cover only the person who petitioned the court for it — usually a spouse or partner — but it might also cover other individuals, like your children.

By consulting with a lawyer, you ensure that you understand what restrictions have been placed on you and what rights you continue to have.

2. Pack Your Essentials

If you live in the same home as the person who requested the order, the police will generally only give you a short time to pack your essentials before requiring you to leave your home. After you leave, you likely won’t be able to return to collect anything else. 

Make sure you take everything you will need for at least two weeks outside your home. For most people, this includes:

  • Clothing

  • Car and house keys

  • Anything needed for work

  • Cell phone and charger

  • Money and wallet

  • Medications

A judge might make an exception to let you return to your home for medications because they are critical to your well-being, but it’s best not to put yourself in a situation where you need to request that exception.

3. Do Not Contact Anyone Named in the Order

The easiest way to violate a protection order is to attempt to contact someone named in the protection order. You may want to call your spouse or partner to try to work things out, but that can just get you in more trouble.

Similarly, if they try to contact you for any reason, do not respond. Rather than responding to text messages or voicemails, save those communications and present them to your lawyer so that they can preserve a record of that contact.

If the protective order does not include children still living with the other party, you are free to contact your children. This can create a tricky situation, though, where you want to spend time with your children but can’t contact your spouse or partner to make arrangements. Your lawyer should be able to help you make those arrangements legally.

4. Attend All Hearings

When the police serve you with a protective order, they will provide you with paperwork that explains the details of that order. This paperwork may also include the dates of any hearings that have been scheduled for the order.

You must attend those hearings. A protective order can potentially last for as long as two years. If you don’t defend yourself, the judge will likely side with the applicant. 

Hearings allow you to present your side of the story. With the right attorney representing you, that order may get dismissed within weeks rather than lasting for years.

Turn to the DUI Doctor’s Seasoned Legal Team Today

When someone requests a protective order, a judge generally issues it. A judge may prefer to issue one incorrectly than refuse to issue one and see abuse turn into even worse violence. An unfortunate consequence of this approach is that unjust protective orders may be issued as well.

At the DUI Doctor, we can fight on your behalf if you’ve been falsely served a protective order in Nevada. Contact our law firm for trusted legal help today.

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