Victims of domestic violence have the option of obtaining protection from the courts via an Order of Protection (OOP). If you’ve been served with an OOP, you should speak with a Phoenix order of protection lawyer as soon as possible. To obtain an OOP, a person must file a verified petition in a city court, justice court, or the superior court, setting forth the specific information contained in A.R.S. § 13-3602.
For the court to grant a petition for an order of protection, it must set forth the following pieces of information:
There is no fee associated with filing a petition for an OOP. Once the petition is filed, the court shall issue an OOP in favor of the applicant if it determines, based on the facts alleged in the petition, that:
If the court issues the OOP, it has the power to fashion appropriate relief, which may include:
If you have questions about the OOP process in Arizona, reach out to a criminal lawyer in Phoenix. The order of protection attorneys at Stone Rose Law can help answer any questions you may have during a free consultation.
After a court issues an OOP, it must be served on the defendant to be effective. An order that is not served within one year of its issuance expires. If the order is served, it is effective for one year from the date of service. During that year, a defendant who wishes to contest the order may request a hearing on it. The hearing must then be held within ten days. However, if the order grants the applicant exclusive use of a residence, the hearing must be held in five days. The applicant must prove the facts alleged in the petition filed at the hearing by testifying and presenting evidence. The defendant has the right to cross-examine the applicant as to their testimony and present evidence if they wish. After considering the evidence presented at the hearing, if the court finds reasonable cause to believe that a domestic violence offense has occurred within the last year or is likely to happen without the order, it will sustain the order and leave it in place. However, if the court finds that the applicant failed to meet his or her burden of proof after hearing the evidence, it must quash the order.
An OOP can significantly curtail your freedoms and stand as a dark spot on your record. If you have been served with an OOP, you should take all reasonable steps to fight it. This is especially true if you face criminal charges arising out of the events making up the basis for the OOP. In that situation, a Phoenix order of protection lawyer can use the hearing to cross-examine the alleged victim under oath, usually without an attorney or prosecutor there to protect them. This can be very beneficial to someone facing criminal charges. Often, what the person seeking the OOP testifies to at the hearing will be very different from what they initially told police. Any inconsistencies developed at the OOP hearing can then be used to the defendant’s benefit in the criminal case.
Suppose a person has been served with an Order of Protection (OOP) and subsequently violates the order’s terms; they can be charged with Interference with Judicial Proceedings, a class 1 misdemeanor, and domestic violence offense. According to A.R.S. § 13-2810, a person commits Interference with Judicial Proceedings by knowingly disobeying or resisting the lawful order, process, or other mandates of a court. A conviction for Interference with Judicial Proceedings that arises from the violation of an OOP is punishable by a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail, a fine of $2,500 plus surcharges, and a mandatory domestic violence counseling class.
If you have been served with an OOP, or if you would like to obtain one against someone else, you need experienced and aggressive counsel to ensure that your interests are protected. Call Stone Rose Law now for a free consultation with an order of protection attorney in Phoenix.