In some cases where there has been an act of family abuse, a protective order may be necessary to prevent further acts of abuse. You may get a protective order if you have been the victim of abuse by a family or household member. There are three types of protective orders: an emergency protective order (sometimes referred to as a 72 hour “cool off” order), preliminary protective order, and a permanent protective order.
If you believe that you have been the victim of family abuse and that you need to protect your safety, or the safety of your children, you should immediately consult with an attorney about whether the facts and circumstances of your situation are grounds to have a protective order issued and help you file to obtain such protection.
Virginia takes protective orders very seriously. At least some jail time is mandatory if you are convicted of even a single violation of a protective order. Multiple violations within a certain number of years require mandatory minimum sentences ranging from 60 days to 6 months. It is critical that you understand what you are required to do if you have had a protective order issued against you.