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What Is a Protection Order?

Posted Monday, October 23, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

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Protection Orders are court orders put in place to prevent contact between two people. They are known colloquially as “restraining orders.” In Washington State there are several types of Protection Orders that may be issued.

Domestic Violence Protection Order: This is a civil order from the court issued at the request of a Petitioner alleging to be a victim of domestic violence, which refers to physical harm, bodily injury, assault or the infliction of fear of imminent harm or injury allegedly perpetrated by a family or household member. (RCW 26.50).

Anti-Harassment Order: This is a civil order issued at the request of a Petitioner claiming any type of harassment and who does not otherwise qualify for a Domestic Violence Protection Order. Unlawful harassment is a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, harasses, or is detrimental to such person and which serves no legitimate or lawful purpose. (RCW 10.40.040).

Sexual Assault Protection Order: These orders involve a petition from someone who is the victim of nonconsensual sexual conduct or nonconsensual penetration. It can be a single incident of nonconsensual sexual conduct or penetration. (RCW 7.90).

Vulnerable Adult Protection Order: This is a civil order intended to protect a vulnerable adult in cases of abandonment, abuse, financial exploitation or neglect. (RCW 74.34.110).

No Contact Order: These orders are issued out of criminal cases as either a condition of release or as a separate order. A No Contact Order may be issued regardless of sharing housing or having children. The criminal court controls how long a No Contact Order remains in place, not the alleged victim; however, the court will not lift the order without support from the alleged victim.

Violating any Protection Order can lead to arrest and criminal charges.

A Protection Order often involves a mandate that the respondent (the person the Petition is filed against) remain a certain distance away from the petitioner (the person seeking the order) and his or her home, school, or job. Though, Protection Orders are not limited to physical distance. Prohibited contact may also include contact via phone, text, email, social media, or even through a third party.

If you are served with a Petition for any type of Protection Order, it is critical that you defend yourself against the order being issued. You have the right to hire an attorney to represent you at the hearing. You want to fight against any Protection Order being issued against you for a number of reasons:

• Protection Orders go on your record and can have an adverse effect on your ability to obtain employment, to travel into Canada and other countries, and your ability to carry a firearm.

• Violating a Protection Order can lead to criminal charges, and an alleged violation is difficult to defend against.

Defending Against a Petition for a Protection Order

If you need help understanding a Protection Order, defending against one, or defending against an alleged violation of an order, we can help.

Padula & Associates, LLC suggests a vigorous defense and we have successfully fended off hundreds of these petitions for our clients. Do not take a petition for a Protection Order lightly.

You need the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney to maximize your chance of defending against a Protection Order. There may be an effective procedural way to successfully challenge the issuance of the order. The skilled attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC can defend your rights and help you fight for a just resolution. We proudly serve those in King County, Snohomish County, and Washington State.

Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366, email us at, or fill out our online free consultation form today.