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If you have a restraining order against you, it is important to be aware of the provisions included in the order. Any violation of the terms, such as appearing within a close distance of the petitioner, could result in serious penalties. Our attorneys at The Law Offices of Lance Fryrear are non-judgmental and caring advocates who can protect your rights if you have been accused of violating a restraining order. We understand you may be having a difficult enough time adapting to the lifestyle affected by an order dictating where you can and cannot go, so we will do our best to defend you against accusations that may further impede on your rights.

4 Types of Protective Orders

Protective orders, also called restraining orders in some states, are court orders that generally require a named individual to remain a specified distance away from the petitioner. Such orders often arise due to stalking or domestic violence charges. Washington has 4 different types of protective orders available to residents – domestic violence protection orders, restraining orders, no-contact orders, and civil anti-harassment protection orders. 

Note that state law allows immediate (“ex parte”) 24-day temporary orders, which may be extended under appropriate circumstances, and orders of protection lasting for 1 year also available for extension.

Domestic Violence Order for Protection

Domestic violence orders for protection are the most commonly requested civil order, particularly in family courts. Under such a protection order, the defendant (respondent) may be ordered to:

  • enjoin any contact;
  • refrain from threatening or hurting the petitioner;
  • refrain from entering the petitioner’s residence;
  • give one parent temporary custody of children;
  • set a schedule for visitation with minor children;
  • leave a shared residence;
  • grant possession of essential personal effects to the petitioner;
  • grant use of a vehicle to the petitioner;
  • attend counseling.

Note that such an order cannot order child or spousal support, nor can it assign more property to the petitioning spouse in a case of divorce. It also may not establish permanent child custody or use of the shared residence.

Any violation of the above terms is considered gross misdemeanors in contempt of court, punishable depending on the nature of the violation:

  • assault less than first or second degree – Class C felony;
  • reckless or substantial risk of death or serious injury – Class C felony;
  • with 2 prior protective order violations – Class C felony contempt of court.

Restraining Orders

In addition to the domestic violence order for protection, there are three other broader types of court orders offering protection. The standard restraining order, unlike the domestic violence order, can deal with property issues, child support, spousal support, as well as domestic violence and temporary custody issues. A restraining order is usually filed as part of a divorce case, a paternity case, or some other family law case. Particularly in family law cases, a person can ask the court for a restraining order and to order the other party to surrender any weapons to law enforcement. A court may grant an Immediate Restraining Order (“ex parte”) the same day the request is made without notice to the other party if this is necessary to provide safety to the petitioner. Afterwards, it can order a more extended Temporary Restraining Order that can stay in effect until the case is final.

No-Contact Orders

A no-contact order does not require the petitioner to fill out a petition, because it is part of a criminal action. The court will decide whether to issue such an order when the respondent is to be released on bail or personal recognizance, or when they are formally charged or being sentenced. Generally, a no-contact order does not last as long as the aforementioned protection orders, and it does not award custody, establish visitation, or order counseling. This order is intended to protect the petitioner while the criminal case is going on and, as the name suggests, prohibit any contact between the parties. Any violation can be punished with more prison time and fines in addition to those currently being discussed for the crime the defendant has been charged with.

Civil Antiharassment Orders

Lastly, the civil antiharassment order applies to situations when the individuals are not married or related to each other, such as if they are disputing neighbors or if one person is being stalked by a stranger. Note that anyone may obtain this order if they are being harassed but have not been assaulted or threatened with physical harm.

Questions? Contact The Law Offices of Lance Fryrear.

Washington implements several types of protective orders for residents, all of which address specific conduct but contain generally the same provisions prohibiting close contact. If you have been charged with violating a restraining order, contact an attorney right away to defend your case. Whether you have accidentally appeared on the premises near the petitioner without knowledge or if the petitioner approached you first, you may still face contempt of court. Our lawyers at The Law Offices of Lance Fryrear can take a look at your case in relation to the restraining order against you and determine your best course of defense.

Call (425) 224-7075 or contact our firm online to get started on your case today.

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