Restraining Order in Georgia: A Comprehensive Guide
Speak with a trusted domestic violence attorney in Georgia.
Secure your safety with a restraining order in Georgia. Explore guidance on obtaining orders and legal protection against harassment and abuse.
Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.
Defense lawyer Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.
Published on July 7, 2022. Updated on: September 26, 2023.
What Is a Restraining Order?
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure, but that is not always the case. Many Americans are victims of domestic abuse, harassment, stalking, and sexual assault. Georgia courts can issue restraining orders if you feel threatened by an offender and your life is at risk.
A restraining order is also known as a protective order. It is issued by the Court to protect an individual from family violence, domestic violence, threats of stalking, or sexual abuse. Restraining orders prevent an offender from causing imminent harm to someone.
The person taking a restraining or protective order is referred to as the protected person, while the one who the restraining order is against is the restrained person.
Most of the time, restraining orders are issued to victims of domestic violence or abuse. The Court can only grant a protective order against an identified individual.
How Does Restraining Order in Georgia Work?
The court order forces the abuser to:
Stop the harmful or offensive behavior against the protected person
Have no contact with the protected person
Stay away from the house or workplace of the protected person
Surrender all firearms
The Court can award temporary child support for the protected persons’ minor children.
Violating a restraining order is a criminal offense that can lead to harsh penalties. If you are charged with a restraining order violation, hire a Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer immediately to help with your case.
Types of Restraining Orders in Georgia
Under Georgia law, there are three types of protective orders:
Family violence protective orders
Stalking temporary protective orders
Employer protective orders
Family Violence Protective Orders
Family violence protective orders are issued in situations where the protected person is a household or family member of the restrained. Family or household violence occurs when a member or members of the household, as well as a current or former intimate partner, commits one or more of these acts:
Assault and battery
Stalking and harassment
Criminal damage to the property of the protected person
Steps of Getting a Family Violence Protective Order in Georgia
1. Petition for domestic violence protective order
A temporary restraining order (TPO) is obtained by submitting a petition to the Superior Court in the county where the accused abuser resides. The victim can file it, or someone acting on their behalf. It must contain the specific acts of abuse that have been perpetrated.
2. Temporary ex parte order.
When the Court is confident domestic violence has taken place in the past and will continue in the future, it can issue a temporary ex parte protective order to protect the victim from further violence by requiring the defendant to stay away from the victim and refrain from committing further acts of family violence.
Protected persons are protected from aggressors until the court hearing is concluded. An ex parte order can be issued by a court without a hearing and an aggressor’s knowledge.
3. Hearing for a permanent restraining order
Upon issuing the TPO, the Court will schedule a hearing that both parties must attend within 30 days. The respondent must attend the final hearing. During the court proceedings, the abused and the abuser can both present their sides of the story and present evidence like pictures of bruises, wounds, scratches, doctor’s reports, audio recordings, and damaged property.
An applicant who successfully proves family violence may be granted a protective order for three years or be granted a permanent order if the Court deems it necessary. Insufficient evidence may lead to the judge dismissing the petition.
Stalking Protective Orders
Stalking refers to following, surveilling, and contacting the victim without their permission or for the purpose of harassing or intimidating them.
A stalking protective order prohibits the respondent from stalking, harassing, or interfering with the victim’s immediate family members. It also orders the respondent to stay a certain distance from you and have no direct or indirect contact with you or your immediate family.
Employer Protective Orders
Employers may file for an employer protective order to protect an employee. They must prove that the respondent has threatened or risked their employee’s life at the workplace. If the judge grants the order, the temporary protective order will protect you from any future threat at your workplace.
Consult with a domestic violence attorney to determine the kind of evidence you need for your protective order petition.
File Restraining Order Online
You can get a Georgia family violence ex parte protective form online. If you are afraid of going out because of the threats from the aggressor, you can complete the form on your phone. The template and fill features make filing for a restraining order easy and convenient.
Make sure you read the instructions carefully and provide all the information requested. If you need help completing the form, you can seek legal advice. When you have filled out all the necessary information, save and submit the form.
Contact an Experienced Restraining Order Attorney in Georgia
The Court expects you to prove that an act of violence happened in the past and is likely to occur in the future. Lack of evidence can lead to your petition being denied. Contact an experienced restraining order attorney in Georgia to help you gather the necessary evidence and present your case in Court.
If you have been served with a temporary protective order, hire an experienced lawyer immediately to improve your chances of winning the case. An experienced lawyer can also help with related cases such as DUI charges and criminal trespassing charges involving family violence or domestic disputes. Protect yourself and your loved ones by taking legal action against violence in the household.
Contact a trusted law firm like Philip Kim Law, PC, to get the help you need. Let us fight for your rights and safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between Protective Orders and Restraining Orders?
Generally speaking, Georgia distinguishes between restraining orders and protective orders. Family members, children, roommates, or romantic partners can be covered by protective orders, which last longer than restraining orders. The victim can also renew them if they still feel threatened.
If you are facing accusations of domestic violence or need support filing for a protective order, you will benefit greatly from the assistance of a skilled attorney. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Who Delivers a Restraining Order?
Once you get a temporary or final protective order, the judge orders the local sheriff’s department to serve or deliver the ex parte protective order to the respondent.
Check with the clerk’s office to establish whether you should take your protective order to the sheriff or if the Court will deliver it to the sheriff’s department.
What Are the Grounds for a Restraining Order in Georgia?
When filing for protective orders, you or your loved ones need to prove that you are facing harassment, stalking, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or financial abuse.
How Much Does a Restraining Order Cost in Georgia?
In Georgia, it is free to file a protective order. Hire an experienced attorney to guide you on the necessary steps you should follow.
What Is a Stay-Away Order in Georgia?
A stay-away order requires the respondent to remain at least 300 yards away from the victim. It forbids the respondent from living in the same house as the victim.