Understanding Protective Orders Available in Georgia

In the United States, about 25% of women have experienced severe physical violence by a partner at some point in their lives, and 14% have been stalked by a partner. About 14% of men have experienced physical violence from a partner, and nearly 5% have been stalked. In Georgia alone, almost 1,700 women lost their lives to domestic violence between 2003-2016. These startling statistics highlight the importance of Temporary Protective Orders (TPO).

Temporary Protective Orders protect victims of domestic violence or stalking. They require the abuser or stalker to stay a certain distance away from the victim and, in most cases, the victim’s family as well. The order extends to home and work, as well as any contact in public. Contact doesn’t have to be strictly physical when a TPO is issued. Attempts to contact the victim via email, phone, text, mail, or any third party are also prohibited under the TPO.

Since TPOs can be time-sensitive, the filing should be done as soon as you have determined that you are in need of protection. The basic requirements when filing for a TPO include filing your petition with the appropriate Superior Court, which serves the jurisdiction where the abuser resides, and demonstrating that you have been subjected to violence. The evidence needed to show abuse is wide-ranging, but is ultimately at the discretion of the judge. Thankfully, O.C.G.A. 24-14-8 provides that “[t]he testimony of a single witness is generally sufficient to establish a fact.”

Several counties in Georgia offer free online resources to help victims file TPOs on their own. However, the process can be overwhelming for some, who may choose to have an attorney help with the process to ensure that things go smoothly.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any type of domestic abuse, or would simply like to know more regarding legal options in similar situations, contact our experienced family law attorneys.

At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our attorneys are dedicated to reaching the best possible outcome for our clients. Our criminal defense attorneys, Patrick McDonough and Trinity Hundredmark, have combined experience of more than 30 years representing clients facing criminal charges in Georgia. For more information, or to request a case evaluation, contact our law office at 1-770-822-0900.