If you are facing domestic violence charges, you may be in possession of a protection order. This order outlines rules that you must follow, and there is a certain time period for which the order is valid.
The rules the judge orders vary depending on the specific situation. It is important that you follow the order exactly, or else you face serious penalties.
Types of protection orders
According to the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, there are three types of orders. One protects from sexual violence by a friend, co-worker or friend. Another order protects the specified individual from abuse by a family member, intimate partner or dating partner. The third order protects minors from intimidation by someone 18 years of age or older.
For immediate protection, a plaintiff can request a temporary order, which usually remains in effect until a hearing to determine the final order. If the judge denies a temporary order, there is still a hearing to determine the need for a final order.
Orders the judge may make
During the hearing, the judge will hear from the plaintiff and the defendant. After hearing testimonies and evidence, the judge will order certain reliefs, of which the defendant must obey. Examples of these orders may include:
- No contact with the plaintiff
- No threats or acts of harassment, stalking or abuse
- Exclusion from plaintiff’s home
- Relinquishing of weapons
- Granting of temporary child custody and support to plaintiff
- Awarding of certain damages to plaintiff
Penalties for violating the protection order
FindLaw discusses that violating any aspect of the order can result in the arrest of the defendant. If the court finds the defendant in contempt of the order, the defendant will face a penalty of a fine of between $100 and $1,000, jail time of up to six months or both.