Can I get a protective order if the DA declines filing charges?

Obtaining an order for protection is a serious step when family issues have spiraled out of control. While all families experience disagreement, some local families may face domestic violence. If this is the case, an order for protection can benefit those who have been harmed or threatened by an intimate partner or another member of the family.

A protective order can be issued in two different ways. First, it can be issued through a District Attorney showing the court that the person in need of the order has been hurt or made to feel afraid by the other person. The DA can also show that the person against whom the order is to be issued has tried to prevent the other person from testifying or made threats against the other person. These protective orders can be issued after a person has been arrested, charged with or convicted of certain offenses.

A protective order can also be filed by the person seeking protection even if the District Attorney decides not to file charges. On its website, the Orange County Superior Court notes that protective orders can be complicated and that those in need of one may benefit from seeking an attorney's advice on the matter.

Whether one needs a temporary restraining order, emergency protective order or a permanent protective order, it can be critical to speak with a legal professional. Those who are not attorneys, such as court clerks or volunteers at non-profit organizations, may offer key services but are not qualified to give legal advice. An Orange County domestic violence attorney can begin the process of securing a protective order and asserting one's rights.