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I’ve been served with a protective order. What now?

Two is company and three is a crowd. But when arguments within the home escalate to the point of violence or threat of violence, the authorities might get involved. And one of the first steps the court will take in a domestic violence situation is to issue a protective order against the alleged aggressor. 

Basically, protective order restricts how you can interact with your accuser. Whether the order is justified or not, it is important to understand that you are bound by its terms. A violation of an active order can lead to serious legal and personal consequences. 

Challenging a protective order

If you are served with a protective order, it is in your best interest that you act quickly. Most often, you will only have a couple of days to file your submissions with the court in preparation for the hearing. Here are two tips that can help you prepare your defense against a protective order.

Read and understand the order

Every protective order is unique. As such, the importance of reading and understanding why your spouse or partner has taken this legal action against you cannot be overstated. Besides, how do you expect to fight what you don’t understand?

Reading the entire order not only helps you prepare for your defense but also ensures that you do not violate it.

Begin gathering your evidence

You need evidence to challenge the order in question. If there is evidence relating to the alleged incident, you need to put it together in preparation for your court date. These can include photos, surveillance footage or witness testimony. It can also include an alibi like GPS records or credit card and shopping receipts that place you at a different location from where the alleged domestic violence happened when it did. 

Protecting your rights

A protective order is a big deal. Your ability to challenge the order depends to a greater extent on your understanding of South Dakota protection order laws