What Is A Tennessee Order of Protection?
In Tennessee, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault victims can ask the court for an order of protection, also known as a protective or restraining order, that bans an alleged abuser from harming or contacting them. If the alleged abuser violates an order of protection, they face arrest, costly fines, and jail time.
If an order of protection has been issued against you, you should discuss your case with an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney right away to explore your legal options. Meanwhile, here’s what you need to know about orders of protection in Tennessee.
What Exactly is an Order of Protection?
A protection order is issued by the court to prohibit a person from stalking, abusing, or sexually assaulting the person that petitioned the order. It is issued by a judicial commissioner who hears only from the accuser. The other person is not notified of the initial request or given the opportunity to respond at the initial hearing. If the judicial commissioner grants the initial request, the alleged abuser must be served a copy of the protection order. The restrictions from contacting the petitioner go into effect immediately upon receipt.
After the order has been served, the court will schedule a hearing within 15 days. During this hearing, a judge will determine whether or not to grant the petitioner an order of protection for up to one year.
The protection order will include very specific details of what the alleged abuser must not do while the order is in effect. For instance, it can order the alleged abuser not to contact, call, come near, or communicate with the petitioner in any way, whether directly or via another individual. It can also include specific protections for minor children under the custody of the petitioner.
Orders of protection can also include giving the petitioner custody of a child, ordering the alleged abuser to provide financial support for the petitioner and their child, and giving the petitioner possession of a shared home.
How Long Do Orders of Protection in Tennessee Last?
Orders of protection can last for a year, but a petitioner may request the court to extend them for another year. If the alleged abuser violates the order, the court can extend it for five years. A second violation can result in the order being extended for 10 years.
It’s also crucial to note that having a protection order against you doesn’t automatically make you guilty of any crime. But if you violate any terms or conditions of a valid protection order, you will face criminal charges, and the police can even arrest you with or without a warrant.
Seek Legal Advice From a Skilled Tennessee Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
If you have an order of protection against you and have been accused of domestic violence, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Tennessee criminal defense lawyers at Raybin & Weissman. Your attorney can review the protection order, go over the evidence and allegations against you, develop a solid defense strategy for your case, and fight for you in court.
To learn more about orders of protection and how you can fight them, arrange a free case review with our Tennessee criminal defense lawyer by completing our online form or calling 615-256-6666.