Orders of Protection
The renowned Nashville protection order lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of domestic violence victims in all areas of Tennessee. We have successfully obtained numerous orders of protection preventing offending parties from engaging in harassing or harmful conduct, including domestic abuse, stalking, and sexual assault.
Domestic violence refers to a wide range of conduct, from the threat of violence and stalking to sexual assault. As its name indicates, domestic violence requires some special relationship to the attacker. The abuser can be a present or former spouse, cohabitant, relative, same-sex partner, or significant other. Domestic violence can also be perpetrated by a present or former lover.
Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking can obtain a protection order that protects them from the abuser. A judge signs the protection order and orders the attacker to stop harassing the victim or suffer the legal consequences. Unlike the requirements to prove domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking victims need not demonstrate a special relationship with the abuser. Examples of behavior that can give rise to a protective order include:
- Threatened or actual physical harm
- Confinement or imprisonment of the victim
- Willful and malicious destruction of property
- An attempt to physical injure an animal
- Threatened or actual rape
- Sex with a minor under 13 years of age
- Threatened or actual sexual contact without consent
- Engendering fear of rape or sexual contact without consent
- Repeated harassment
- Following or “shadowing”
- Showing up at house or job
- Calling, texting, or emailing
- Sending threatening messages
- Otherwise intimidating or frightening the victim
Tennessee law protects victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and stalking. Under Section 36-3-602(c) of the Tennessee Code Annotated, victims can file a petition for a protective order in either the county where the abuser lives or the county in which the abuse took place. Protective orders generally order the abuser to halt the harmful behavior. In domestic violence cases, courts can give the victim possession of the home, as well as ordering the abuser to either leave it or provide alternative arrangements for housing the victim. After a hearing, the court can also award the victim temporary custody or visitation rights of minor children. Protective orders can require the abuser to attend counseling for violence and substance abuse issues. They can also forbid the perpetrator from possessing, owning, or buying firearms. In some cases, the attacker must reimburse the victim for all costs, expenses, and fees related to the order.
In Tennessee, victims can obtain two types of protection orders preventing perpetrators from engaging in further acts of harassment. A temporary protection order offers short-term protection until the victim can obtain an extended protection order. Temporary protection orders can last for about 15 days. Extended protection orders can only be issued after a full court hearing. They protect the victim for up to one year and can be extended before the order expires.
If you are the victim of domestic violence, and need a protection order, the experienced Murfreesboro domestic violence attorneys can help. We have extensive experience obtaining protection orders for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. We provide the highest quality legal representation to clients in Nashville, Murfreesboro, and other areas of Tennessee. Our lawyers understand that being the victim of threatened or actual violence is traumatic. We are dedicated to protecting your rights and keeping your family safe. For a free consultation, call (615) 353-0930, or contact us online.