Couples disagree all the time. But when these disagreements escalate to the point of violence or threats of violence, the government might get involved. In this case, the court may issue a protective order against the aggressive party.
If an order of protection is issued against you, it’s important you take it seriously. Remember, violating an order of protection is a criminal offense that can worsen an already tense situation. Here are three things you need to do if you have an active order of protection against you.
1. Read and understand the terms of the order
No two orders of protection are the same. Depending on the specifics of your case, the order of protection will specify where you may go and the things you can or cannot do. It is in your best interest that you understand the grounds on which the order was issued so you do not find yourself violating it either intentionally or accidentally.
2. Get rid of your weapons
An order of protection will likely prohibit you from possessing dangerous weapons like guns. Thus, you may not buy a firearm, and neither should you keep one. If you owned a weapon before the order was issued, you may need to relinquish it until the matter is resolved.
3. Avoid trouble
This should be straightforward: if there is an active order of protection against you, do not commit a crime. A permanent order of protection can be changed or dismissed, but only if you’re not convicted of a crime like domestic violence or some form of felony. Finding yourself in trouble while there is an active order of protection against you will only attract additional (and harsher penalties).
An order of protection is a big deal. Knowing what to do, and the missteps to avoid, can help you steer clear of troubles that can compound your legal woes.