Restraining orders go by many names. Some call them “protective orders,” and others call them “orders of protection.” There are several ways to combine the terms, but the orders themselves all serve the purpose.
Retraining orders help expedite justice for people who have been victimized. If, for instance, someone is threatening you, you can accuse them of assault. After that, their case churns through the system. Police must investigate your claims, then they must officially charge your abuser. Then the crime goes through the criminal justice system. All the while, you may still be in danger.
If you have an order of protection, however, you can receive help much quicker. When your abuser threatens you, you can accuse them of breaking the order. This is a much easier charge to prosecute, and it takes much less time to process. The penalties are smaller than they would be or an assault charge, but they will send a strong message to your abuser to leave you alone.
Furthermore, a protective order can provide protection beyond threats and direct violence. Often, these orders force your abuser to keep their distance. They cannot visit you, contact you, or go to your work or school, and they must usually keep a certain distance from you.
Emergency Protective Orders
Also called “ex parte” orders, these restraining orders provide immediate protection to those who need them. Police can help you issue these orders on nights and weekends, and they are effective immediately.
Your abuser cannot defend themselves against an ex parte order. If the court believes your story, it will issue the order, and your abuser will be notified.
In Iowa, protective orders can last 3 days. You can use this time to prepare for a longer-lasting order.
Temporary Protective Orders
These orders last a bit longer, between 5 and 15 days, and they offer more protection. Once more, your abuser cannot offer a defense against this order. However, the court will require more evidence to issue this order. This will require gathering evidence with you.
Again, you should use the time this order provides to prepare for the next level of protection.
Final Protective Orders
A final restraining order lasts up to 1 year in Iowa. It provides even more protection than the other two. Also, you can have it renewed for another year, then for another year, and so on. As long as you can prove that you still need protection, you can keep extending your final protective order.
Your abuser can defend against these orders, and they can have legal representation. Be prepared for something that resembles a trial. For each claim you make, your abuser can produce counterevidence in rebuttal. Make sure you and your attorney work closely to gather evidence and create a strong case in your favor.
Iowa’s Protective Order Categories
Iowa has several types of restraining orders, each covering a different form of abuse, stalking, and so on.
Civil Protective Orders
Regular citizens initiate these orders. They file with an attorney, making a case for protection. Civil protective orders cover specific areas of abuse.
In Iowa, the most common civil protective orders are:
- Elder Abuse Protective Orders
- Sexual Abuse Protective Orders
- Domestic Abuse Protective Orders
Criminal Protective Orders
Authorities can initiate these orders. This includes police, courts, and so on. For instance, if police respond to a call and believe someone is being abused, they can file for an ex parte order on the victim’s behalf.
Similarly, a judge can create a protective order during a criminal trial or even a divorce trial.
If you are in immediate danger, contact the police right away. They may be able to secure an emergency order for you. Afterward, you can contact our firm for help with a temporary or a final protective order. Our number is (515) 200-7571, and you can also reach us online.