If you are in possession of a protective order for alleged domestic violence, there are a number of things of which you should be aware. You do have some rights, but you must follow the directions outlined in the order.
If you violate any of the order’s terms, you do face stiff consequences.
1. You have a right to state your case to the court
According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the alleged victim of domestic violence can request an ex parte order, which the court can issue on a temporary basis. When an officer of the court issues you this order, there will also be a hearing date within 15 days of the filing. At this hearing, you are able to state your case and provide evidence that a protective order is not necessary.
2. The order is in effect for a specified period of time
If, at the hearing, the judge grants the protective order, it will be in effect anywhere from 180 days to one year. The alleged victim, referred to as the petitioner, can also request a renewal of the order.
3. You must follow the directives in the order
In the protective order, the judge will mark varying forms of relief to the alleged victim. These may include that you:
- Refrain from all communication and contact with the petitioner
- Move out of the residence shared with the petitioner
- Refrain from threatening to commit, or committing, any act of domestic violence
- Pay child support or income maintenance to the petitioner
- Participate in court-ordered counseling or a substance abuse program
- Pay for court costs or petitioner’s attorney’s fees
4. There are consequences for violating any of the order’s terms
According to the Missouri Attorney General, violating any of the terms in the protective order can result in immediate arrest. A first offense violation may result in a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. A subsequent offense may result in up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.