In Kentucky, what are commonly called restraining orders in other jurisdictions are usually referred to as protective orders. They act as a legal barrier designed to safeguard individuals who may have been victims of domestic violence or other threatened harm. 

For potential defendants, understanding how these orders work is key – from discerning between their various types, knowing the process someone has to go through to obtain one, and discovering what steps should be taken if you’re faced with such a situation.

Types of Protective Orders in Kentucky

Protective orders play an essential role in providing immediate protection for individuals who may be facing domestic violence and abuse. 

It’s important to understand that protective orders are different from being charged in criminal cases for misdemeanors and felonies prosecuted by the district attorney. 

There are two primary types of protective orders: 

Temporary Protective Orders

Temporary protective orders include Emergency Protective Orders (EPOs) and Temporary Interpersonal Protective Orders (IPOs). EPOs are used in domestic violence cases. IPOs are used in dating violence and abuse cases or in sexual assault or stalking cases committed by someone who is not a family member or an intimate partner.

These short-term directives aim to put a halt to violence or abuse by implementing restrictions on the respondent’s behavior.

These limitations typically stay in effect until a formal hearing can take place, which is scheduled within 14 days. The main goal of these urgent measures is to provide victims with immediate protection out of harm’s way while awaiting a more comprehensive judicial hearing for longer-term protection solutions.

Long-Term Protective Orders

For extended protection, Kentucky courts may issue Domestic Violence Orders (DVOs) or Interpersonal Protective Orders (IPOs).

These long-term orders are enforceable for up to three years and designed similarly in principle to short-term orders in terms of their goal – to prevent violence and abuse. However, they differ in that these take effect only after a fuller judicial hearing has occurred where both the petitioner and respondent have had an opportunity to be heard.

Who Can Obtain a Protective Order in Louisville, KY?

Protective orders are designed for individuals seeking safety from violence and threats with the prerequisite that certain relationship requirements must be met. People typically eligible to secure a protection order include:

Family Members

This can cover a wide scope of individuals, including spouses or ex-spouses, parents of shared children (regardless of marriage), those related by blood or marriage, as well as step-parents and grandparents.

Members of an Unmarried Couple 

Individuals living together in an intimate relationship – regardless of whether they share any children – can request protective orders.

Those in Dating Relationships

People involved in dating relationships but not cohabiting may qualify for IPOs.

Sexual Assault and Stalking Victims

Independent of any specific personal relationship status, victims who experience sexual assault have the right to obtain a protective order.

Evidence Needed to Obtain a Temporary Protective Order

To obtain a temporary protective order, the court doesn’t generally ask for any evidence upfront. If the judge believes, based on the initial petition only, that there is an immediate and ongoing risk, they may issue this emergency protective order.

Should the allegations in the petition fail to imply a clear present danger, a judge can either dismiss the petition or issue a summons for a formal hearing, where a decision will be made regarding a long-term protective order.

Evidence Needed For a Long-Term Protective Order

Procuring a long-term protective order demands several pieces of evidence, most often including witnesses, police reports, medical records showing injuries, any emails or text messages that indicate abusive or threatening behavior or language, and any other relevant evidence bolstering the claim.

What You Can Do If Someone Files a Protective Order Against You in Louisville, Kentucky

Facing a protective order can be overwhelming as a defendant. However, knowing how to effectively counter the allegations is essential. 

Presenting your own reputable witnesses can help immensely in shedding light on what really happened. Additionally, any digital evidence you may have — emails or text messages — that could undermine the accuser’s assertions should be carefully compiled and reviewed for use in court.

Directly testifying to your version of events is another technique often used by defense attorneys.

Always remember that having an experienced lawyer guiding you through this process is the best step you can take. If you need help, schedule a free consultation with a Louisville criminal defense attorney

Contact the Louisville Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today

For more information, contact the Criminal Defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC give us a call today at (502) 371-7000 or visit us at our Louisville law office.

Suhre & Associates, LLC – Louisville
214 Clay Street, Suite A
Louisville, KY 40202
United States