What Happens After I File a Petition?When you first get protection, it's only temporary. The order is called a PPO. You must return to court on the date indicated in the PPO, usually about 15 days, so the judge can determine if a full Protective Order is necessary. Both you and the abuser will be asked to appear in court on that date. During the 15-day period, the police will serve the abuser with a copy of the order, so the abuser will know when the hearing is scheduled.
How Can I Get Protection?To get a protective order, the abused person will file a petition in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Division. Each county has its own filing procedure.
How Can a Restraining Order Help Me?
A restraining order can do the following:
- The court can order the abuser not to have any contact with you, in person or by phone, at home, work or almost anywhere you ask the court to put in the order. The order against contact may also protect other people in your family.
- The court can order the abuser to leave the house or apartment that you and the abuser share, even if it is the abuser’s home.
- Grant you custody of your minor children.
- Order the abuser to pay child support and support you.
- Order the abuser to pay for costs that resulted from the abuse; for example, household bills that are due right away, medical/dental treatment, moving expenses, loss of earnings
- Order the abuser to pay attorney’s fees, and can make the abuser pay damages to you or other people who helped you or got hurt by the abuser
- Order the abuser to receive professional domestic violence counseling, or tell the abuser to go get evaluated or go to AA or NA
|Code Sections||Code of Virginia §18.2-57|
|What Protections are Available?||
Civil and criminal
|Definition of Domestic Violence/Family Abuse||
"Family abuse" means any act involving violence, force, or threat including any forceful detention, which results in physical injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of serious bodily injury and which is committed by a person against such a person's family or household member.
|Family/Household Member Relationship Requirement||
Any person who commits domestic assault and battery or family abuse shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Three or more convictions in a 10-year period elevate the crime to a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. The prior convictions can be from other jurisdictions in Virginia, but they must have occurred on different dates.
|Types of Protective Orders Available||Protective Orders|