UNDERSTANDING PROTECTION ORDERS IN WASHINGTON
The law in Washington provides citizens with numerous mechanisms for obtaining protection orders. A protection order is an order issued by a court that prohibits one person from contacting another (or multiple protected parties). Protection orders can contain a variety of conditions but they typically prevent one party from coming within a certain distance of another’s home, school or work, and prohibit contact by any means, even through third parties. Courts have the authority to impose all sorts of other requirements as conditions of protection orders, including payment of the other party’s costs, participation in treatment, electronic monitoring, and loss of firearms rights. Protection orders can be short-term or can last for years. In some cases, a court can even issue a permanent protection order.
There are number of different types of protection orders that can be issued by a court; some are related to civil proceedings and others are related to criminal proceedings. Courts dispense different types of orders based on the underlying need for protection.
Types of Protection Orders Issued by Washington Courts:
- Domestic Violence Order of Protection: A civil order issued by a court at the request of one family member against another.
- Restraining Order: A civil order ordinarily issued during dissolution proceedings covering various relations between parties, coverage ranges from disposition of assets and property to child custody.
- No-Contact Order: A no-contact order is typically issued during a criminal proceeding and prohibits a defendant from contacting the alleged victim.
- Civil Anti-harassment Protection Order: A civil order issued by a court upon a party’s request to protect the party from unlawful harassment by another party.
- Sexual Assault Protection Order: A civil order issued by a court at the request of a person alleging to have been sexually assaulted by another.
The imposition of a protection order has serious consequences. It will appear in publicly available court records, which can negatively affect people in terms of employment, housing, and parenting for years. Most importantly, the imposition of a protection order subjects people to criminal and other serious consequences upon violation of the order. The existence of a protection order will often seriously impact the judgment of prosecutors, judges and jurors in evaluating later accusations by a protected party against an alleged aggressor. For all these reasons, the stakes are very high in protection order cases. Whether you have been named as the subject of a protection order or seek to obtain a protection order to protect yourself from an aggressor, you need a knowledgeable attorney to protect your rights.
If a court has issued a protection order against you, an attorney will need to examine the order to determine what restrictions the order places on your rights and whether the order was lawfully issued. A defense lawyer will also defend you against any criminal charges resulting from the violation of such an order. If you seek to obtain an antiharassment protection order to protect yourself and your family from unlawful harassment, you will need the assistance of a competent lawyer to gather evidence, interview witnesses and represent you in court. The issuance of an antiharassment order frequently turns on whether or not the evidence and testimony presented to the court shows a pattern of unlawful harassment. A skilled attorney can present your case clearly and concisely, bringing the relevant facts to the court’s attention.
Protection order cases often have a very short timeline, as hearings are usually set within weeks after petitions for protection orders are filed. Thus, it is crucial to have an attorney who can hit the ground running in investigating the case and preparing for the hearing. An attorney will need to locate and interview witnesses, obtain documentary and other evidence, prepare briefing for the court, and prepare to present the case, all within whatever limited timeframe the court sets. Attorneys who regularly handle these cases will have the experience, skills, and infrastructure needed to successfully represent clients. At Black Law, our protection order attorneys have been successfully handling these cases in Seattle and around Washington for years. We have developed the tools necessary to successfully handle protection order cases and we use those tools on behalf of each and every client.
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IN SEATTLE ABOUT PROTECTION ORDERS
The Seattle protection order attorneys at Black Law have successfully represented many clients in both obtaining and fighting many types of protection orders over the years. We leverage our years of experience in these cases on behalf of every client to our clients’ advantage. We can help defendants in Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Kent, and Bellevue, as well as other cities in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. To set up a free appointment, call (206) 623-1604 or contact us online. We can also assist you if you need a domestic violence attorney or representation in another criminal matter.