Protective orders in Virginia come in three forms. The three types are: (1) emergency protective orders (EPO) which last up to 72 hours, (2) temporary protective orders (TPO) which last up to fifteen days, and (3) permanent protective orders (PPO) which last up to two years, and then can be extended in two year increments indefinitely thereafter. (see Virginia Code § 20-253 and § 20-253.4).
In the event that a protective order is issued the impact is potentially very damaging. The court has the authority to order no contact with the petitioner and with the parties’ children or other persons living in the home. The court can also award custody of a child, child support, exclusive use of a home, vehicle, order all essential utilities be paid, and even exclusive use of an animal or household pet is now allowed! (see Virginia Code §20-253.1). Moreover, the person who has the protective order issued against them cannot own, possess or transport a firearm of any type, and violation of a protective order is a criminal offense in Virginia which carries mandatory incarceration. (see Virginia Code § 20-253.2 and § 20-253.4). This can also impact a person’s security clearance or ability to maintain employment in the military or law enforcement.
The attorneys at Bush & Taylor have tried hundreds of these types of matters and have a firm grasp on the nuances present in protective order cases. Competent aggressive representation is most often the difference in whether or not a protective order is granted. This is because in the vast majority of these matters it is one witness’ word against another. A lawyer’s ability to show the court that someone is not being truthful is often all that stands between a person and the issuance of a protective order and the sweeping consequences that come with its entry.
See what the Virginia Code has to say: