Virginia Protective Orders Laws
Protective orders, also called "restraining orders," require a named individual (typically, those charged with domestic violence or stalking) to stay a specified distance away from a named victim, for a certain amount of time. Virginia protective order laws remain in effect for up to 72 hours for emergency orders, and up to a maximum of two years. Violation of a restraining order is considered contempt of court and charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The following table highlights the main provisions of Virginia's protective order laws, with links to additional articles and resources.
|Code Section||16.1-253, et seq.|
|Activity Addressed by Order||Enjoin contact; exclude from dwelling or provide alternative housing; regarding minors: visitations; use of motor vehicle|
|Duration of Order||Emergency: 72 hrs. after issuance|
|Penalty for a Violation of Order||Contempt of court and Class 1 misdemeanor; no suspension of term|
|Who May Apply for Order||Any person or the court.|
|Can Fees Be Waived?||Yes|
|Order Transmission to Law Enforcement||Copy to local police department or sheriff's office|
|Civil Liability for Violation of Order||Yes, contempt of court|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Virginia criminal defense attorney or domestic violence lawyer, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Virginia Protective Orders Laws: Related Resources