A Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) is sought by a victim of domestic violence. More specifically, Washington law says that a DVPO can be obtained by a person experiencing physical harm, bodily injury, assault, stalking, or sexual assault by a family or household member. A person may also file for this protection order if he/she fears imminent physical harm or bodily injury by a family or household member.

Under Washington law, family or household members include:

  • Spouses/former spouses
  • Persons who have children in common
  • Persons who are dating or previously dated
  • Adult persons related by blood or marriage
  • Adult persons residing together or who have resided together in the past
  • Persons 16 years of age or older residing together and who have had a dating relationship
  • Persons 13 years of age or older and who have had a dating relationship with someone 16 years of age or older
  • Persons who have a biological or legal parent child relationship, including step-parents and grandparents.

If successfully obtained, a domestic violence protection order prohibits the restrained party from having any contact at all with the protected party. A DVPO can be in place on a temporary basis, for a year or more, or on a permanent basis. Persons restrained by DVPOs will likely face firearm prohibitions.


Questions are often asked regarding how persons are found in violation of a domestic violence protection order. For a violation to occur, facts must show that: (1) a valid DVPO was in place; (2) an offender was given notice of the DVPO; and, (3) the offender made or performed some contact that was prohibited under the DVPO. Please know that prohibited contact includes both direct and indirect contact with the protected person, or even being near the protected person. Contact by the person restrained by the protection order is prohibited under all circumstances unless the protection order is terminated.


A violation of a DVPO is often considered a misdemeanor. A violator faces the potential of one year in jail, thousands of dollars in fines, or both. A judge can also require the violator to submit to electronic monitoring.

In some instances, a protection order violation results in a felony offense. This happens if the violation occurred through an act of reckless endangerment or assault, or, if the violator has two or more previous convictions for similar violations. If a felony offense, a violator faces up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both.

No matter if you need assistance obtaining a DVPO or fighting one, Black Law is here to help. Our attorneys have over 20 years of combined experience assisting clients with domestic violence protection orders. They are passionate in their representation and take the time to ensure you understand every aspect of your case. Contact them now and get the legal help you deserve.

We serve clients throughout Washington including those in the following localities: King County including Bellevue, Kent, and Seattle; Benton County including Kennewick; Chelan County including Wenatchee; Clallam County including Port Angeles; Grays Harbor County including Aberdeen; Kitsap County including Port Orchard; Kittitas County including Ellensburg; Pierce County including Tacoma; Skagit County including Mount Vernon; Snohomish County including Everett; Spokane County including Spokane; Thurston County including Olympia; Whatcom County including Bellingham; and Yakima County including Yakima.

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Black Law PLLC