Emergency Protective Orders
Obtaining an Emergency Protective Order
To obtain an emergency protective order (VA State § 19.2-152.8) a person must be allegedly stalked or an alleged victim of a criminal offense resulting in a serious bodily injury. The victim or the law enforcement officer on behalf of the victim asserts under oath to a judge or magistrate that such person is being or has been subjected to stalking or a criminal offense resulting in a serious bodily injury. The Judge or Magistrate then finds (i) there is probable danger of a further such offense being committed by the respondent (suspect) against the alleged victim and (ii) a warrant for the arrest of the respondent has been issued, the judge or magistrate shall issue an ex parte emergency protective order imposing one or more of the following conditions on the respondent (suspect):
- Prohibiting acts of violence or acts of stalking in violation of VA State § 18 2, 1960.3.
- Prohibiting such contacts by the respondent with the alleged victim of such crime or such person's family or household members as the judge or magistrate deems necessary to protect the safety of such persons.
- Such other conditions as the judge or magistrate deems necessary to prevent acts of stalking, or criminal offenses resulting in injury to person or property, or communication or other contact of any kind by the respondent. The emergency protective order is effective for 72 hours of its issuance, and both parties must be served for the order to be effective. Before the end of the 72 hrs the victim has the choice of making a motion to make the protective order to the Juvenile Relations Court.
It is important to note that the respondent may not possess, transport, or purchase a firearm and/or ammunition. Additionally, a violation of this order will result in his/her immediate arrest. For instance if the respondent commits an assault and battery upon any party protected by the protective order, resulting in serious bodily injury to the party, he is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Or if any person who violates such a protective order by entering the home of any protected party while the party is present, or by entering and remaining in the home of the protected party until the party arrives, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.