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Protective Orders: Do I need one?

Protective Orders: Do I need one?


Any individual can find themselves in a situation where they feel threatened or harassed by someone else, but many do not realize they have a legal right to seek protection through a Protective Order or No Contact Order. In Indiana, these orders can serve as crucial tools to help
ensure the safety and well-being of individuals and their families, who may fear for their personal security.

What is a Protective Order/No Contact Order?
A civil Protective Order is a court order issued to protect an individual from domestic or family violence. This order establishes specific boundaries and restrictions on the person with whom the order is filed, with the intention of preventing contact or potential harm. The person against which
the Protective Order is filed must comply with this order, and could face legal repercussions for disobeying it.

A No Contact Order is another form of order which restrains a person from having contact with another person to prevent harm or threat of harm. A No Contact Order may be issued under a criminal proceeding and requires the criminal defendant to refrain from directly or indirectly contacting the person protected by the order, their residence, and their place of employment. Some No Contact Orders are issued automatically if the criminal defendant committed a violent offense.

How are civil Protective Orders obtained and how long do they last?
Any person who is over the age of 18 can apply for a Protective Order. If there is someone under the age of 18, but needs the protections of a Protective Order, their parent or legal guardian may seek these protections for them. The person seeking the order must provide the court with an
affidavit stating why they need the order, provide affidavits of witnesses who may be able to support accusations, and provide the court with evidence of violence between the person seeking the order and the person who it will restrict. A hearing may be required before a civil Protective Order is issued. Protective Orders differ in length, but may remain in place up to 2 years, with the possibility of renewal depending on the likelihood of potential harm.

How are No Contact Orders obtained and how long do they remain in place?
A No Contact Order may be issued to protect a person of any age who has been the victim of a crime. They may be automatically issued as part of the criminal process. However, if not, a victim may discuss this as an option with the prosecutor assigned to the criminal case. No Contact Orders may remain in place during the pendency of a criminal proceeding, but may also remain in place until a defendant has completed their sentence.

If you fear for your safety, contact one of our experienced attorneys at McNeelyLaw LLP who can help you through the process of seeking protection.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation

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