man in handcuffs at table

If you have been accused of a crime against another person, generally one involving violence or harassment, you may also have a protective order taken out against you. Unfortunately, many are unaware of what the rules of this entail, meaning they are vulnerable to violating the terms and conditions. If this reflects your circumstances, you’ll want to keep reading to learn what you should know about what this includes, what you can expect if you are accused of violating the terms, and why you must consult with a Cobb County criminal defense lawyer to help guide you through these complex matters.

What Is a Protective Order?

A protective order is granted to victims of violence, harassment, or stalking. Essentially, this provides additional protection for the person who took out the order, as it prevents the other individual from harming them. In Georgia, if you are accused of certain offenses, like family violence, your protective order will reflect this.

It’s important to understand that many people use the terms protective order and restraining order interchangeably. While, in Georgia, these are very similar, certain circumstances make them different. Generally, if you are the victim of violence at the hands of a family member or partner, you will likely receive a protective order against them. A restraining order is often granted in less imminent circumstances and prohibits the party from doing things such as owning a firearm.

Common terms of a protective order you must adhere to include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Refrain from contacting the individual or their family
  • Refrain from following or supervising the individual
  • Revoke any custody you had of children
  • Order you to leave the family home
  • Order law enforcement to assist the victim in recovering their property
  • Order you not to interfere with any insurance or utilities that will impact the victim

What Should I Do if I Violate This Order?

In the event you are accused of violating you will likely face a misdemeanor charge. This will carry up to one year behind bars and a fine of up to $1,000.

It’s important to understand that if you and the party decide to reconcile, you are still prohibited from violating the terms of this agreement. If you wish to have the agreement terminated, the party who filed must petition the court to modify or eliminate the order. However, if they do not do that and you violate the terms, you will still face a criminal charge.

Can an Attorney Help Me Through This Time?

If you are accused of violating a protective order, understanding the importance of connecting with an experienced attorney is critical. At the Miller Law Practice, we know these matters can be confusing and complex. That’s why our team is dedicated to fighting for the best possible outcome for your circumstances. If facing criminal charges and time behind bars, we will fight for you. Connect with us today to learn how we can help.