The People’s Lawyer

What happens if you violate a protective order?

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2024 | Family Protection Orders

Protective or restraining orders protect individuals from harassment, abuse, or threats. In West Virginia, violating a protective order carries serious consequences. Understanding the types of protective orders and the penalties for violating them can help you navigate this legal territory.

Types of protective orders 

West Virginia issues several types of protective orders.

  • Emergency Protective Orders (EPOs) provide immediate, short-term protection and often grant it without the presence of the alleged abuser. These orders typically last until a court holds a hearing.
  • Temporary Protective Orders (TPOs) extend the protection until the final hearing.
  • Final Protective Orders (FPOs) offer long-term protection and can last up to 180 days, with the possibility of extension.

Understanding the several types of protective orders in West Virginia is crucial for maintaining legal compliance and ensuring the safety of those involved. 

Penalties for violating a protective order

Violating a protective order in West Virginia is a serious offense. Law enforcement can arrest you immediately if you violate an EPO, TPO, or FPO. The first offense is usually a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. You can also be charged with contempt of court for violating a protective order. 

Subsequent violations can result in harsher penalties, including felony charges. Additionally, violations can impact other legal matters, such as custody battles or employment opportunities, further complicating your situation.

Are you facing a violation of a protective order charge?

If you violate a protective order, you may want to seek a legal professional who can guide you through the process, help you understand your rights and explore legal options. Taking proactive steps can potentially lessen the consequences and increase your chances of a more favorable outcome.