Orders of Protection
In Tennessee, as in other states, protecting victims of domestic violence is an important concern. The legislature has addressed this issue by providing people with a swift and straightforward path to obtaining an order of protection against an alleged abuser. For people accused of abuse, the consequences of an order of protection are often undesirable and difficult to navigate. If you have been served with an order of protection in Davidson County or Williamson County, Nashville criminal defense lawyer Bernie McEvoy can explain the next steps and represent you in the subsequent legal proceedings. Attorney McEvoy understands the complexity of domestic violence cases and is sensitive to their impact on his clients. He is experienced in fighting many types of criminal charges, including not only domestic violence but also sex crimes and drug offenses.Orders of Protection in Tennessee
An order of protection is a civil process initiated by a petitioner against a respondent, wherein the court orders the respondent to cease certain conduct. A court can issue an order of protection when the petitioner reasonably feels threatened by the respondent. It prohibits the respondent from having any contact or communicating with the petitioner and usually the petitioner’s children as well.
In Tennessee, orders of protection are meant to protect victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking. Protection orders arising out of domestic abuse must be filed by a petitioner with a specific relationship to the respondent. Essentially, the parties must be former or current romantic partners, relatives by blood, marriage, or adoption, or cohabitants. This includes past and present spouses, people who have a child together, and people who have dated or have had sex with each other. A criminal attorney can advise Nashville residents on whether an order of protection is appropriate in their situation. The requirements are different if the respondent is accused of stalking, sexually assaulting, or threatening to sexually assault another person. In such cases, there does not need to be any relationship between the respondent and the alleged victim. A person may file an order of protection against anyone who has stalked, sexually assaulted, or threatened to sexually assault him or her.
Once the order of protection is filed, the court may immediately issue a temporary protection order. The temporary protection order is effective from the date of service until the matter is heard, typically within 15 days. If you have been served with an order of protection, you must obey its terms until the hearing. After the hearing, the judge will decide whether the evidence is sufficient to grant an extended order of protection that will be valid for one year, or whether to deny the petition. It is in your best interest to appear at the hearing, since you will have an opportunity to present your own evidence and argue that the petition should be denied. You also have the option of hiring a Nashville attorney to represent you.
The consequences stemming from an order of protection can significantly affect a person’s life. Once an order of protection is entered, a violation of the order can form the basis of a criminal charge, which could lead to jail time. Tennessee does not recognize any defenses to a protection order violation, even if the petitioner first initiated the contact. You may be ordered to stay away from the petitioner’s home and workplace, forcing you to find a new place to live or work immediately. Furthermore, the order may impede your ability to see your own children, and you may be required to pay child or spousal support. You could also lose the right to possess or purchase firearms while the protection order is in effect.Protect Your Rights by Retaining a Criminal Lawyer in Nashville
If you are seeking a domestic violence defense lawyer in the Nashville area, contact the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy. Attorney McEvoy is prepared to discuss your situation and provide compassionate and trustworthy legal advice. He has assisted many individuals faced with orders of protection and accusations of domestic abuse in Davidson and Williamson Counties, including in Nashville and Franklin. To request a free consultation with an experienced domestic violence lawyer, call (615) 255-9595 or (615) 804-8779 in the evening or on weekends, or contact us online. Mr. McEvoy also handles many other criminal cases, such as drug crimes and drunk driving.