Orders of protection are meant to protect victims of abuse and harassment from further harm. In the State of Arizona, an order of protection is a legal ruling preventing contact between the accused and one or more parties. Orders of protection are typically filed by a victim of domestic violence or harassment and may be referred to as restraining orders. Orders of protection are judge-issued rulings upheld by the State of Arizona. To file, challenge, or defend against a violation of an order of protection, you’re going to need to be in a courtroom. Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, an Arizona lawyer experienced with orders of protection can help you achieve your goals.
In domestic violence cases, the judge has a priority to protect the parties involved from further harm or abuse. This generally involves imposing an order of protection against one of the parties. Orders of protection may begin as emergency orders of protection (EOPs) before evolving into permanent orders of protection. These can last up to a year and require a court order to dissolve. This means both parties could agree to meet under friendly terms and still violate an order of protection. Don’t count on the judge to do the right thing. If you need to file an order of protection, have been served an order of protection, or are facing charges for violating an order of protection, the Law Office of Elizabeth Mullins can help.
Orders of Protection (ARS §13-3602)
Orders of protection exist to protect victims of domestic violence from further harm. In Arizona, domestic relationships can include:
- Spouses, co-parents, and intimate partners
- Family members and in-laws
- Roommates or other domestic cohabitants
Orders of protection are issued based on the account of, and on any evidence provided by, the person filing for the order. In many cases, orders of protection may begin as immediate temporary orders and may become permanent at a later hearing. Orders of protections can impose additional limitations on the defendant. These can include but are not limited to: denying their access to a shared home, confiscation of their firearms, and preventing contact with their children.
Injunctions Against Harassment
Injunctions against harassment are court-ordered injunctions prohibiting contact between people involved in relationships outside those recognized by the Arizona courts as domestic. These could include:
- Neighbors, or any person with whom you are not domestically associated with (ARS §12-1809)
- Co-workers, employers, and employees (injunctions against workplace harassment, ARS §12-1810)
Behavior which may qualify as harassment is any action or threat of action intended to alarm or annoy another person. Injunctions against harassment are not dependent on acts of violence for issuance.
Filing Orders of Protection
Anyone seeking to file an emergency order of protection may do so at any hour of the day with the State of Arizona. To file for a permanent order of protection applicants must file with their local county courthouse. Orders of protection are typically issued based on applicant and witness testimony as well as any submitted evidence. This can include video, audio, written, or other evidence supporting claims of abuse or harassment. For ease and assurance of accuracy many people choose to file orders of protection and injunctions against harassment through an attorney.
Defending Against Orders of Protection and Injunctions Against Harassment
Orders of protection were originally created to protect victims of abuse and harassment from further harm. Over time, a different kind of abuser entered the system, filing restraining orders to harass or manipulate the defendant. In some cases, parents may file orders of protection to undermine another parent in a custody case. In others, a bitter spouse may file an order of protection as part of a divorce strategy. Vindictive people can file orders of protection based on false accusations or neighbor disputes, causing untold grief for defendants. Judges may think they are doing the right thing by issuing an order of protection, but they can be misled by your accuser.
If you’ve been served with an order or protection or an injunction against harassment, you have the right to challenge that order in a court hearing. An effective defense can lead to modified orders, dropped orders, or an order issued against the filing party for harassing the defendant. If you’re facing an order of protection or injunction against harassment, your family, career, and reputation are at stake. Gain the aid of an experienced Arizona Defense Lawyer.
Violating an Order of Protection or Injunction Against Harassment
Violating an order of protection or injunction against harassment can result in severe criminal penalties and can undermine your defense in any current court proceedings. Orders of protection are judge’s orders upheld by the court and can only be removed by a judge. Reconciliation alone is not enough. Those caught violating orders of protection under any circumstances are subject to severe penalties by the State of Arizona. Penalties for violation include:
- Immediate arrest and incarceration up to one year
- Misdemeanor criminal charges and fines up to $2500
Those convicted of violating an order of protection may be subject to additional court costs and may damage any defense to an open court case. If you’ve been served an order of protection or have been accused of violating a restraining order, the State of Arizona is now firmly entrenched in your family and personal life. Defend your right to see your family, go to work, and live your life.
Arizona Attorney for Orders of Protection
Many people find themselves on one side or the other of an order of protection or injunction against harassment. Filing an order to deflect harm, defending against unjust orders, and facing violation charges can become complicated under Arizona law. If you need assistance with an order of protection or injunction against harassment, call the Phoenix Law Office of Elizabeth Mullins for one-on-one help navigating this stressful process.