Can Anyone Get An Order of Protection?

man upset looking at phone while sitting on edge of bed

People may seek out an order of protection for numerous reasons. You may be wondering, can anyone be granted an order of protection for any reason? Let’s discuss common causes why protective orders are granted, and what you can do if you are the respondent.

Why Do People Seek Orders of Protection?

When people feel like they are at risk of being harmed by another individual, they may seek legal protection.

Common reasons people may seek protection include:

  • Physical assault
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Harassment
  • Threatening behavior
  • Stalking
  • During a contentious divorce

However, not all of these instances are grounds for an order of protection.

Order of Protection or No-Contact Order?

An order of protection is granted specifically for cases involving household members and/or romantic partners.

This includes:

  • Dating partners
  • Married spouses
  • Relatives
  • People who used to be married
  • People who share children
  • People who used to live together
  • Caregivers

Therefore, only people who fall into these categories are able to obtain an order of protection.

No-contact orders, however, are specifically granted in cases of stalking and sexual assault.

What Happens When an Order of Protection is Granted Against You

This depends on what type of order is granted.

There are three main types available:

  • Emergency orders: These orders can be granted immediately by a judge, without the respondent or alleged abuser being present. They last for up to three weeks.
  • Interim Plenary orders: This order is granted when an emergency order is about to expire, but more time is needed while the case is handled.
  • Plenary orders: This type of order is typically granted when an emergency order needs to be extended. This protective order lasts two years.

You will not be notified of, or be required to attend, a hearing for an emergency order. However, if the petitioner is moving forward with extending the order of protection, you will be given the opportunity to attend a hearing and defend your case. If you choose not to attend the hearing, you cannot contest the order of protection. However, if you do attend, you have a chance to prove why a protective order is unnecessary.

There are many benefits to contesting a protective order. Having an active order against you can be damaging in numerous ways.

  • Job loss: your employer may let you go if they fear you are a risk to the company or other employees.
  • Firearm rights: when you have a protective order against you, you lose your gun rights. This means you cannot possess or purchase firearms.
  • Social implications: if other people are aware that there is a protective order against you, they may fear that you are a violent or unstable person. This can make it difficult to form bonds with new people or maintain other close relationships.
  • Criminal risks: while having a protective order against you isn’t a crime and won’t automatically result in a charge, you now risk being charged for violating the order. Simple mistakes could lead to serious trouble.

Disproving False Allegations

Some individuals seek protective orders with false claims of violence, threats, or harassment. This is incredibly frustrating for the respondent, who must figure out how to prove their innocence against such serious accusations. This can be an uphill battle, as most people are inclined to automatically believe the individual who made the initial accusation.

However, there are still steps you can take to help your defense:

  • Hire an attorney
  • Collect evidence
  • Follow the order while the case is pending

Illinois Order of Protection Defense

If you have recently been notified of a protective order filed against you, contact our team at The Toney Law Firm, LLC. The order may be accompanied by criminal charges, or may have been filed by the petitioner under false pretenses. Explain your situation to our team during an initial consultation. Set up an appointment online or by calling our office at (888) 473-4058. There are two sides to every story.