When you or your family members are in danger of domestic violence, it is vital to take the necessary steps to protect yourself. Unfortunately, many people are threatened by intimate partners, spouses, or other family members.

There are many options for victims of domestic abuse and violence. Many organizations in Georgia are willing to help abuse victims.

It is crucial to search for resources and organizations to escape the threat of domestic abuse. It is often important to file a restraining order or temporary protective order (TPO) against the individual who poses a threat.

Below, we will discuss several issues related to filing restraining orders and TPOs in Lawrenceville, GA.

What Are Restraining Orders and Temporary Protection Orders?

Most people have heard of orders of protection or restraining orders. However, many people do not fully understand how they work.

Restraining orders and TPOs are legal injunctions that require parties to refrain from contacting each other.

For instance, if a woman files restraining order or TPO against her partner, that partner would be legally prohibited from coming too close to her.

These types of injunctions can be filed against any family member or partner, including:

  • Spouses
  • Domestic partners
  • Ex-partners
  • Family members
  • Parents

Typically, restraining orders are used to protect a victim from stalking, whereas TPOS are used to protect a victim from violence. Incidentally, restraining orders and TPOs can even be filed against people that you haven’t met in person if they present a viable threat. When someone violates the terms of a restraining order or TPO, they may face criminal charges.

Restraining orders and TPOs may include the following terms:

  • Maintaining a certain distance from the victim
  • Maintaining a distance from the person’s family, school, or workplace
  • Leaving a residence shared with the victim
  • Prohibiting contact with  the victim
  • Relinquishing certain weapons and firearms

To obtain a restraining order or TPO, you’ll have to file paperwork at a courthouse. If the abuser is a Georgia resident, you must file in the county where the abuser resides. If the abuser is not a Georgia resident, you can file in your county of residence. Alternatively, you can file your request in the county in which abuse took place.

How Do You File a Restraining Order or TPO in Lawrenceville, GA?

There is no fee for filing a restraining order or TPO in Georgia. However, the filing party must present photo identification.

Some people believe that you need to hire a lawyer to file a restraining injunction. This is not true.

However, any situation in which a restraining order or TPO is necessary may carry legal ramifications. For that reason, it is usually a good idea to consult with an accomplished attorney about your legal options.

The required documents to file for restraining orders and TPOs can be confusing. Many documents require very specific information. 

A knowledgeable Georgia lawyer can help to ensure that your paperwork is filed appropriately. They will understand the relevant statutes and expectations for filing an injunction.

Temporary Protective Orders and Hearings as Part of the Restraining Order Process

Once you file for a restraining order, a temporary protective order (TPO) will likely go into effect. A court can issue a TPO for a period of 6-12 months. The conditions of the TPO are based upon the merits of the paperwork that you submit.

If the TPO is issued, you will have a hearing generally within ten days after the filing of the petition, but no more than 30 days later.

The filing party must attend the hearing to secure a permanent protection order. During your hearing, you must present evidence to show that the abuser is a threat to you or your family. 

Relevant evidence may include:

  • Testimony from relevant parties­, including family and friends
  • Photographic evidence of prior abuse
  • Reports of prior domestic violence
  • Relevant medical records
  • Communication records, like recordings, texts, or letters

It is important to gather all relevant evidence before the date of your hearing. A skilled attorney can help you to build a powerful case to secure a restraining order or TPO.

For more information, call our family law firm at (404) 594-2143 or reach out to us online by visiting our contact us page today.