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3 consequences of protective orders


While protective orders are not considered criminal proceedings, they have a close relationship with criminal law. Having a protective order taken out against you can have lasting effects on your finances as well as some of your constitutional rights. 

Since a protective order is a civil order, it does not appear on your record. However, violating its terms could land you in criminal court. Here are some of the ways it can affect your life:

Financial obligations

A protective order can disrupt your life by forcing you to leave your home and/or vehicle to the petitioner (the person who entered the order). This affects your access to work and resources and causes you the undue stress of having to relocate on short notice.

On the other hand, if you remain in the home, the court may require you to find ‘suitable alternative housing’ for the petitioner and any other family member living in the home, including paying for their utilities.

Prohibition from owning a firearm

The court prohibits respondents of protective orders from possessing or transporting a firearm for as long as the order is in effect. Once the order has been issued, you have 24 hours to surrender your firearm to a law enforcement agency or to find a legally able and willing buyer. 

Violating this directive is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Treatment impositions

Based on the court’s findings, you can be directed to seek counseling, treatment or attend other programs. They include but are not limited to anger management, substance abuse treatment, psychological treatment and other types of counseling programs. 

The basic function of a protective order is to prohibit contact between the respondent and the petitioner. This limits your movement because you cannot go to your home or anywhere the petitioner frequents. It’s clear that a protective order will impact your life and day-to-day activities significantly; therefore, it’s essential that you protect your constitutional rights and defend against it.

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