Permanent Protection Orders

Seattle Lawyers Knowledgeable in Both Criminal and Family Matters

A protection order is put in place to prevent people from contacting each other in various situations, including those that involve domestic violence or sexual violence. The contact that may be restricted by the order may include physical contact, phone contact, social media contact, contact via texts, contact via emails, or even communicating via a third party. In some cases, the person who is being restricted will need to stay a specific distance away from the victim's home, workplace, or school. At Blair & Kim, our Seattle protection order lawyers protect your rights, your freedom, and your future. We have both the criminal and the family law experience necessary to help you in case you need a permanent protection order or may be subject to an order.

The Impact of a Permanent Protection Order

Whether someone can get a permanent protection order depends on the type of protection order that they are seeking. In most cases, they must first obtain a temporary protection order that lasts up to 14 days. Often, the court will enter a final protection order that lasts up to 1-2 years, but some situations do warrant a permanent protection order.

Permanent domestic violence protection orders can be obtained. These are civil orders issued by the court when someone claims to be a victim of domestic violence. First, a temporary order is issued in response to an emergency situation. A hearing is then set within 14 days so that the person who is going to be restricted has a chance to respond. Only at the hearing will the court designate the length of the final order, which may be permanent.

Generally, sexual assault protection orders are ordered for up to two years. If victims want to renew the order, they need to reappear in court every two years.

In some cases, it is possible to get a permanent restraining order, which is a civil order that is filed in connection with a family law matter, such as a custody dispute. While the temporary restraining order lasts only 14 days, a restraining order put in a final decree will be permanent unless a modification is granted later.

Anti-harassment orders are civil orders that are issued for someone who claims to be a victim of harassment, if that person does not qualify for a domestic violence protection order. Usually, the person being restrained does not have a family relationship with the victim. These orders are often one year in duration but can be permanent as decided by the court.

A vulnerable adult protection order is a civil order issued to protect a vulnerable adult. The temporary version can last up to 14 days, but the court can issue an order that lasts up to five years.

A judge can lift, modify, or rescind a permanent protection order under RCW 26.50.130(3). In order to get it lifted, the person who has been restricted by the permanent protection order needs to show that it is more likely than not that there has been a substantial change in circumstances, such that they are likely to go back to committing the violence, such as domestic violence, that caused the permanent protection order to be put in place.

Factors that the court can consider to decide whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances are any that are relevant to whether the restrained person is likely to commit violence against the protected person in the future. These include whether any domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or other violence has been committed or threatened since the protection order was put in place, whether there has been a violation of the terms of the protection order, whether there have been any criminal convictions of the person who was restrained, whether the restrained person has taken responsibility for what happened, whether the other person consents knowingly and voluntarily, and whether the person who was being protected has relocated.

Retain an Experienced Protection Order Lawyer in Seattle

If you are considering obtaining or fighting a permanent protection order in Washington, you should retain a skillful attorney who can fully understand all of the aspects of your case. Our firm has both a criminal defense lawyer and a family law attorney, so unlike many other firms, we can look at your case from all angles and provide a comprehensive strategy. We represent people in Seattle, Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, and other cities in Kings County. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us via our online form to set up an appointment if you need a domestic violence lawyer or assistance regarding another type of protection order.