With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation, more and more jobs and services have been moved online. For the time being, whatever can be done online is being done online. In King County, this now includes the ability to file for an order of protection by e-mail or over the phone. Before, anyone who felt that they were in danger would have had to seek an order of protection in person at the courthouse, which presented its own set of problems even before the onset of COVID-19.
King County Offers First of its Kind Program
Because more people have been forced to stay home amidst stressful and tense situations, law enforcement officials say that they have seen an increase in domestic violence calls and arrests. This prompted the King County Prosecutor's Office to unveil their program, which they had been working on for several months, a bit earlier than they had originally planned. This program allows anyone who feels that they need an order of protection to get one by contacting the office, following instructions that can be found online, to request one by calling or e-mailing the office instead of coming to the courthouse in person.
What is an Order of Protection?
There are many kinds of orders that can be issued by the courts in Washington, which makes the language used a bit tricky but very important. When requesting an order to prevent further domestic violence, most people will request a restraining order. There are also no-contact orders and civil anti-harassment orders that may be available as well. However, the order that is issued most often by the court is an order of protection.
Essentially, an order of protection is an order from the court one can request after being assaulted or threatened that tells that person not to harm you again. An order of protection can order the respondent not to come to the requester's home, give one parent temporary custody of any children who might be involved, and set a temporary schedule of visitation for those children. An order of protection cannot, however, make any permanent changes to child custody, or order child support or alimony.
A violation of a protective order will typically result in a gross misdemeanor, which could be punishable by up to a year in prison, a fine of $5,000, or both. The court may also order the violator to wear an ankle bracelet, which the violator may have to pay for himself. However, in certain circumstances, violation of a protection order can be considered a felony, which may be punishable by multiple years in prison and a heftier fine.
Contact Steve Karimi Law Office Today
After being charged with an act of domestic violence, having an experienced attorney on your side can make a world of difference. Steve Karimi has experience as a King County prosecutor, as well as a criminal defense attorney, and he is ready to put it to work for you. For a free consultation with Steve Karimi Law Office, call 206-621-8777 today.