How Protective Orders Work To Protect You

When you’re in a dangerous situation, you shouldn’t be on your own. Your safety should be a priority number one in any relationship. Sometimes relationships turn dangerous and we need protection from the ones we once trusted. It’s an unfortunate reality too many Americans face every day, with statistics showing that 24 people PER MINUTE are faced with some form of violence from an intimate partner.

Thankfully, there are legal channels available to provide an extra layer of protection and justice to those who are victims or could become victimized by dangerous individuals. Protective orders are a tool that can provide physical and legal distance from the person or people putting you in danger. The team at John M. Totten, P.C., stands up for our clients and can help you secure a protective order.

Alabama courts define protective orders as “a court order issued under the Protection from Abuse Act (PFA) which provides limited protection for people who have been threatened, harassed, or physically abused. It can be sought against the victim’s spouse, former spouse, common-law or former common-law spouse, parent, child, blood relative, person with whom the victim has a child, or a present or former household member.” There are two types of protective orders in Alabama:

  • Temporary or “Ex Parte” Protective orders
  • Final Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders

Each of these plays a different role in your safety. Your safety could depend on understanding what these orders do and how each is a progression from the last to secure your well-being.

Temporary or “Ex Parte” Protective orders

When you feel you’re in imminent danger, these temporary orders can act as an emergency protective order for you and your children. These orders can be quickly filed and will require whoever is putting you in harm’s way to keep their distance. Failing to follow these orders can and will result in severe legal consequences.

These can be filed without needing the accused to be present and can last until the first official court date which is usually within 10 days of the order being filed. This provides temporary legal protection and provides all parties time to review the situation before moving forward with a potentially lengthened order.

Final Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders

As the name indicates, these orders are long-term and provide protection for your and your family going forward. The court will have one or multiple official hearings with you and the accused to go through the details of the case before issuing a decision.

These can be permanent or last for a period of time determined by the judge. Because hearings can be delayed or multiple hearings could potentially be needed you should communicate with the court to ensure your temporary order does not expire during the process.

Ultimately, your safety and the safety of your loved ones is priority number one. Whether you’re in physical or emotional danger from an ex or another individual, you need to act fast to protect yourself. If you need an order or believe a standing order has been violated, an attorney can help you navigate what happens next. Contact our firm and make sure you’re protected when it matters most.

John M. Totten
Latest posts by John M. Totten (see all)