Obtaining an Order of Protection or No Stalking and Contact Order
Before contacting an attorney during an abusive situation, you should contact your local police department. After this call is made and you feel that you are safe, you should consult with an attorney who can help you obtain an order of protection or a no stalking and contact order. If necessary, an attorney can help you file for an emergency order so that the person has to stay away from you immediately instead of waiting for the petition to go before a judge. As the petitioner, or the person filing to obtain the order, you have a right to protect yourself in any way that you can against the respondent, or the person who has committed the negative conduct.
The actions committed could be physical, but they don’t have to be in order for you to obtain an order of protection. Any kind of abuse, including emotional, can be grounds for obtaining an order that prevents stalking or any type of contact. An order that grants staying away completely often includes not contacting each other through social media platforms, by phone, or by driving past the home where the petitioner lives. The respondent would be ordered not to have any form of contact that interferes with the well-being of the petitioner or family members.
In the event of criminal charges that are associated with the order, then an emergency order will usually be granted. This is often done when the defendant first appears before a judge. Even though the order of protection is ordered, the overall case will likely be continued to another day. An interim order, or one that is valid for a short time, is sometimes ordered before the court hearing. A plenary order is sometimes issued instead. This type of protection order contains a set length of time for the defendant not to have any contact with the victim. If the defendant is sentenced to spend time in jail, then the order of protection and no contact is usually still in effect.
The prosecution has the burden of showing that the defendant is guilty during criminal proceedings. However, the burden of proof is often lower when seeking a protection order. The only thing that is usually needed is a Preponderance of Evidence. This means that there is at least a 50% probability that information stated to obtain the order is factual as claimed by the victim.