Restraining order, Protective order, dvp

Help for Victims & Accusers of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence May Require a Protective Order

A restraining order or protective order is a legal order issued by a West Virginia state civil court, which requires one person to stop harming another. A prime example would be a domestic violence action where you or an at-risk family member petitions the court for protection from the abuser. The person is not sent to jail for committing a crime, but if they violate the order, they would be sent to jail for the violation. In West Virginia, there are several types of protective orders.

Trump & Trump, L.C. Offers Help in Filing a Restraining Order

How long does a restraining order last, and what types of domestic violence protective orders are available? You may apply for protection in these types of circumstances:

(1) An act that causes serious bodily harm (e.g., kicking, punching, choking/strangling, shoving, shooting, hitting with an object, stabbing, or biting);

(2) An act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm (including threats of harm);

(3) Assault;

(4) Rape or sexual assault (including attempts);

(5) False imprisonment;

(6) Mental injury to a minor child; or

(7) Stalking.

West Virginia has two types of protective orders: emergency protective orders and final protective orders.

WV Family Law Offers an Emergency Protective Order

An emergency protective order provides you and your family members with immediate protection from an abuser. The judge must believe you or your children are in immediate danger. To obtain a court order without the abuser being present, you may have to explain to the judge why the abuser should not be notified in advance—for example, that your life would be in danger. Keep in mind these limitations to emergency protective orders:

1. An emergency protective order protects you from the time you file for the final protective order until your full court hearing. This may take place within ten days but might be postponed. If postponement happens, you can file for an extension with the court through the next court date.

2. If you already have a temporary order for divorce, annulment, or separate maintenance or custody issued by the family court against the abuser, the type of order you could get from the magistrate’s court is called a temporary emergency protective order.

Filing for a Final Protective Order in West Virginia

A final protective order offers the same protection as an emergency protective order, but it lasts longer. You will have to have a full court hearing to get a final protective order, where the abuser has a chance to respond to your petition. A final protective order may last for 90 days, 180 days, or one year. You must show proof at the hearing that at least one of the aggravating factors exists to qualify for a one-year final order.

Aggravating Factors Considered in Granting One-Year Protective Orders

A serious violation of a past protective order;

The abuser has one or more prior convictions for domestic battery or assault or a felony crime of violence while you were a family or household member;

Two or more protective orders have been entered against the abuser (by anyone) within the previous five years;

The abuser was convicted of stalking or harassment against someone who currently has an order of protection against the abuser; or

Given the overall circumstances of your case, a one-year order is necessary to protect the physical safety of you and/or anyone else listed on the petition.

Help Available for Victims of Abuse in WV

If you are in WV and an intimate partner or a family member is hurting you, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE to speak with someone who can recommend or refer you to a local resource. If you want help getting a protection order, consult with one of our lawyers here at Trump & Trump, L.C.

Has Someone Filed a Protective Order Against You? Call Trump & Trump, L.C.

An attorney from Trump & Trump, L.C. can also offer sound advice if you discover someone is trying to get a protection order against you. Contact one of our experienced family law attorneys and show the lawyer any papers you received. Depending on the situation or type of charge, you may also benefit from criminal defense, also available from Trump & Trump, L.C.

Help If You Violate a Protection Order

You could also need an experienced local criminal defense lawyer if you violate a protection order. West Virginia has laws against conduct such as stalking, which could put you in violation of a protective order. For more information, see our criminal defense page on assault.