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Types of Protection Orders

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Protection orders are court-issued orders that prevent one person from doing certain things to protect another. When someone is in fear for his or her life or safety, he or she may request a civil protection order. If a prosecutor wants to prevent the defendant from contacting a victim in a criminal case, he or she may request a criminal protection order. 

There are many different types of protection orders in Washington state, each of which addresses different situations and victim-perpetrator relationships. If you are facing one of these orders, it is imperative to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. 

No-Contact Order

A no-contact order is a criminal protection order that is issued in cases involving domestic violence. This order prohibits a defendant from contacting any victims or witnesses that are related to the case. The court can issue a no-contact order regardless of any objections by the victim or witness and may leave it in place as long as the case is open.

Harassment No-Contact Order

The second type of criminal protection order is a harassment no-contact order. This order is issued in criminal cases that involve some sort of harassment. Like no-contact orders, a harassment no-contact order is issued based on the discretion of the court and may last for the duration of the case.

Domestic Violence Protection Order

A domestic violence protection order is a civil order that can be in place on a temporary or permanent basis. This order may be requested by someone who is suffering bodily injury, harm, assault, or sexual assault, or who is fearing imminent harm by a family or household member. 

According to Washington law, a family or household member may include any of the following:

  • Spouses and former spouses
  • People who have children together
  • Adults who are related by blood or marriage
  • People who have or have had a romantic relationship 
  • People who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship
  • Adults who live together or have lived together in the past
  • People who are 16 years or older and who have or have had a relationship
  • People who are 13 years or older and who have or have had a relationship with someone 16 years or older

Stalking Protection Order

A person may request a stalking protection order if he or she has been the victim of stalking by someone who is not a family or household member. Under Washington law, stalking happens when someone intentionally and repeatedly harassed or followed another person, putting the victim in fear for his or her life or property. A stalking protective order can be temporary or permanent.

Sexual Assault Protection Order

A sexual assault protection order may be requested by a person who is experiencing non-consensual sexual conduct or penetration. The perpetrator is not a family or household member. One incident of sexual assault is enough to warrant this type of protective order.

Facing a Protection Order? Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

Protection orders are often issued in conjunction with criminal charges, such as domestic violence, stalking, and abuse charges. If you are facing criminal penalties in Washington state, you need an attorney on your side who can protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.

After your arrest, do not speak to the police or answer any questions. Instead, contact a Washington criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and strategize your next steps.

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