4 Types of Protective Orders


As someone who has been subject to a restraining order or believes they will be, it’s important to obey the terms defined by the court. A restraining order does not make you guilty of a crime but disobeying the orders can have you arrested for violation. Therefore, becoming familiar with the common types of protective orders can help you avoid further penalties.

The four most common types of protective orders are:

  1. Domestic Violence Protection Order
  2. Restraining Order
  3. No Contact Order
  4. Anti-Harassment 

1. Domestic Violence Protection Order

A domestic violence protection order separates the alleged perpetrator or “restrained person” from the alleged victim or “protected person.” In this protection order, the restrained person is an intimate partner, family member, or someone who lives with the protected person. A person who has physically hurt or has explicitly threatened to hurt the protected person may have a domestic violence protection order filed against them. This protection order can also apply if the restrained person is believed to have been responsible for stalking, sexual assault, or creating fear of imminent bodily harm to a family or household member.

Family or household members include the following:

  • Spouses and former spouses
  • Persons with shared children
  • Current or previous dating partners
  • Adults related by blood or marriage
  • Persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship
  • Adults residing together or who have resided together in the past
  • Persons 16 years of age and older residing together and who have had a dating relationship
  • Persons 13 years of age or older and who have had a dating relationship with a person 16 years of age or older

In a domestic violence protection order, you may be ordered to do the following:

  • Not commit acts of domestic violence against the protected person
  • Stay away from the “protected person’s” residence, place of work, and/or school
  • Remain a certain distance away from specific locations
  • Not contact the “protected person” or other members of their household
  • Not harass the “protected person,” follow them, or keep them under physical or electronic surveillance
  • Surrender your firearms

If you are believed to be at fault for physical harm, injury, assault, sexual assault, stalking, or creating fear of imminent physical harm to a family or household member, a domestic violence restraining order may be filed against you.

2. Restraining Order

Restraining orders are a broader type of court order. As they are generally filed in an existing family law case, this order may deal with property issues, child support, spousal support, etc. In comparison to domestic violence protection orders, a restraining order keeps the restrained person from taking certain actions. Examples may include demolishing personal items in a home, damaging automobiles, or other undesired behavior/actions in a family law case.

In a restraining order, you may be ordered to do the following:

  • Not contact the protected person through calls, text, or e-mail
  • Not stalk, threaten, attack, or harass the protected person
  • Stay a specific distance from the victim’s home, workplace, vehicle, and other frequently visited places
  • Not destroy personal property or disturb the peace of the protected person
  • Surrender firearms
  • Move out from a current living situation with the protected person

If you are believed to be at fault for harassment, stalking, physical violence, mental abuse, sexual assault, emotional abuse, or further harmful actions, a restraining order may be placed against you. As each case is unique, a court may tailor the restraining order according to the protected person’s specific needs.

3. No Contact Order

A no contact order prohibits you from having any contact with the protected person. This protective order is issued after you are charged with a crime. You may be instructed to stay a minimum distance away from the victim’s home, workplace, and other areas they frequent. The restrained person may also be instructed to not contact the victim through mail, phone, emails, or social media. Furthermore, the restrained person is not allowed to have indirect contact with the victim. An example may include giving a letter to a third party to hand over to the protected person.

Depending on the nature of the no contact order, you may be required to do the following:

  • Take financial action by making loan and bill payments
  • Return personal belongings
  • Attend mandatory counseling programs
  • Relinquish control of jointly owned property such as bank accounts and vehicles

Similar to other protective orders, if you are believed to be at fault for harassment, physical violence, mental abuse, sexual assault, or further abuse, a no contact order may be filed against you.

4. Anti-Harassment Order

This type of order instructs you to stop harassing the protected person. You do not have to have a specific type of relationship to the victim. An anti-harassment order will include a variety of regulations to follow. In general, this protective order requires a person to stop harassing, annoying, intimidating, or threatening the victim.

If, on multiple occasions, you have caused annoyance, fear, intimidation, or other similar emotions to someone else, you may have an anti-harassment order filed against you.

Protective Order Violations

Having a protective order filed against you can be shocking and confusing to navigate. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions to avoid unintentional violations. The penalties for violating restraining orders and other protective orders can result in large fines and jail time.

If you have been accused of violating a protective order or believe you were subjected to an unfair protective order, reach out to our attorneys at Hester Law Group. We’ve practiced criminal defense law for over 50 years and can help guide you through procedures in the criminal justice system.

Call us at (253) 300-3034 or schedule a consultation with us online today.