Orders of protection are often given to victims of violent crimes when there is a strong possibility that the perpetrator might come back for a second round. They can be issued at arraignment by a judge or they can be requested at a courthouse or a police department, depending on where you live. If you are in need of court-obligated protection, here is how to obtain an order of protection.
Obtain an Order of Protection: Collect Evidence
Often the approval of an order of protection depends on the amount of compelling evidence that suggests a violent crime was committed. Orders of protection are frequently issued against people accused of assault, battery, rape, attempted murder and sexual assault. If there is any physical evidence of abuse or violence, make sure it is recorded visually with a camcorder or camera.
Obtain an Order of Protection: Get a Police Report
In order to obtain an order of protection, there must first be a police report. The police report is written when you call the police and they respond. The responding officer(s) will record their observations of the scene of the crime as well as any evidence they find.As the complainant (read: victim), you are entitled to a copy of the police report, which you or your attorney can present at the time you request the order of protection.
Obtain an Order of Protection: Know the Reasons for Your Request
Just because a crime has not occurred yet does not mean you can’t be granted an order of protection. If you have sufficient evidence to suggest that you should be in fear of your safety, the courts will often grant your request. However, you must have sufficient and valid reasons for wanting an order of protection, so make sure that you have all of the evidence and witnesses ready to provide to the court. Your attorney can assist you with preparation if you have one.
Obtain an Order of Protection: Fill Out the Paperwork
As with any court decision, filing for an order of protection can involve lots of paperwork. You’ll have to provide the court with your name, address, telephone number and social security number as well as the dates of any assault that occurred and the name of the person against whom you are hoping to obtain an order of protection. The more information you have about that person, the better, because the court cannot file an order of protection against someone they cannot identify.
Obtain an Order of Protection: Know the Risks
While an order of protection is for your own safety, it can also be a risk. For example, let’s say that you were assaulted in a local bar or club. The police arrived and arrested the perpetrator, but since he has been let out on bail, you want the court to grant you an order of protection to keep him from assaulting you again. This is common sense. However, since you were assaulted at a bar or club, the perpetrator doesn’t likely know where you live. When he is issued the order of protection, the court will have to give him your address so that he knows where he cannot go. Take that into consideration.
Obtain an Order of Protection: Keep an Eye Out
Once you have your order of protection, stay vigilant about examining your surroundings. This is especially true if you are the victim of a stalker; often, an order of protection will not stop them from continuing to follow you. If you see the perpetrator outside your home or on the street, make sure that you contact the police immediately. A violation of an order of protection is automatic jail time.