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Learn the Basics About Orders of Protection

An order of protection is meant to protect you from someone who is harassing, abusing, or even simply threatening you. It can be used against a loved one who lives with you, or someone you do not even know. An order of protection may end up saving your life, or at least give you some peace of mind if you are worried about what a particular person might do to you. Before you go to a lawyer to get this kind of document filed, you should know the basic facts.

Domestic Violence

Orders of protection are often filed against loved ones. A significant other may become a threat to you at some point when he or she abuses you physically, sexually, or emotionally. If you feel scared for your life or simply taken advantage of, and you do not want to see the abuser anymore, you can file an order of protection. This should discourage him or her from coming near you since legal consequences are likely when an order of protection is ignored.


You may feel threatened not by someone who claims to love you, but by a stranger. If you are being stalked and harassed by someone you barely know, it may be time to get an order of protection. Constant phone calls, visits to your home or work, or flat out threats can all reduce your quality of life and even make you afraid. This is why an order of protection is sometimes necessary, since it gets out the message that you will not put up with harassment. Anyone who breaks the order of protection could be put in jail and will have this transgression on their record, which is why it frequently puts a stop to stalking.

Temporary vs. Permanent

If you are worried that someone may harm you, go to a lawyer immediately to get a temporary order of protection. This will be put into place right away. Then you will need to wait for a hearing that will determine if the order of protection needs to continue. If you change your mind and decide the person in question is not dangerous after all, the order will be dropped. However, if there is reason to believe that you are still in danger, the order should be made permanent at the hearing.

Once this occurs, it can last two years, but in some cases, it may be put in place for a longer or shorter period of time. It all depends on the circumstances of your case. It also depends on both the lawyer you hire and the judge presiding over your hearing.

A lawyer will let you know if you need an order of protection, and can answer any questions you have about this legal document. He or she can also file it for you and represent you at the hearing. Getting an order of protection is more common than you may think, and if it gives you peace of mind, it may be worth your time to obtain one.

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