5 Things You Need to Know About Protective Orders in Wyoming
June 6th, 2022
A protective order is issued in a criminal case and prohibits the person named in the order from coming within a certain distance of the person who is protected by the order. When someone violates a protective order, they can be charged with a crime and will face criminal penalties.
If someone has taken out a protective order against you, you must understand and follow the terms of the order. Violating a protective order can lead to additional penalties and can complicate any criminal charges you may already be facing.
1. Restraining Order Vs. Protective Order
Wyoming courts can issue restraining orders and protective orders. While there are many similarities between a restraining order and protective order, there are some important differences you should be aware of.
A restraining order is issued to protect a person from abuse by someone with whom the protected person had a close personal relationship. Restraining orders are commonly issued in civil cases that involve allegations of domestic violence and in family law cases; however, violation of a restraining order could lead to criminal charges.
A protective order is more commonly issued in a criminal case to protect victims and witnesses to a crime. During a criminal investigation, law enforcement officials may request a protective order to ensure that victims of an alleged crime are safe from retaliation by the alleged perpetrator of the crime. The protective order is intended to protect against intimidation, harassment, or violence before and during a criminal trial.
2. Terms of a Protective Order
Protective orders are often issued in criminal cases involving allegations of assault and battery, stalking, sexual abuse, vandalism, or destruction of property.
The terms of the order can vary considerably and will be tailored to the unique circumstances of each situation. Most protective orders are issued for three months and can be extended in three-month increments for up to three years or until the defendant is convicted or sentenced, whichever comes first.
In cases involving sex offenses or domestic violence, the protective order can last up to ten years and will remain in effect while the defendant is in jail or in prison.
Violating a protective order can lead to criminal penalties including up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $750, or both.
3. When and How a Protective Order Is Issued
A protective order can be issued to prevent an alleged stalker or abuser from contacting a witness or victim of an alleged crime. Once a protective order is in place, any law enforcement officer is empowered to enforce the order.
Once the judge issues the protective order, the person named in the order will receive notice of the order, although in certain circumstances notice is not required for the order to take effect.
4. Consequences for Violating a Protective Order
If someone has applied for a protective order against you, there is a good chance you have been or will be charged with a crime. Law enforcement officers throughout the state are empowered to enforce the terms of the protective order. If you violate the order you can be charged with an additional crime. Additionally, the judge in your criminal case will learn about the violation of the protective order and will not look kindly upon it.
5. Responding to a Protective Order
If someone has filed for a protective order against you, you must take it seriously. There is a strong chance that you have been or soon will be charged with a crime. In addition, violating a protective order can be a crime itself and lead to additional charges and harsher penalties.
If you were served with a protective order, read the entire order and obey its terms. Then contact the criminal defense attorneys at Just Criminal Law. We will explain the terms of the protective order, help you understand what is happening, and, if necessary, fight the order and defend you against any criminal charges.
During your meeting, a member of our team will review the terms of the protective order, help you gather evidence that relates to the events described in the protective order, and represent you at the hearing on the protective order and in any criminal case that is filed against you.
Just Criminal Law Protects Your One Shot at Justice
Being named in a protective order should not be taken lightly. Give yourself the best chance of a successful result by contacting the criminal defense team at Just Criminal Law today.
Led by criminal defense attorney Christina L. Williams, the team at Just Criminal Law will thoroughly investigate the allegations against you, explain the terms of the protective order, develop your legal defense strategy, and vigorously represent you in court.
Learn more about our team and our approach to criminal defense, read about our record of success, then contact us today to schedule your personalized case review and strategy session.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.