Orders of Protection in South Carolina require a Divorce Lawyer

Orders of Protection in South Carolina

Domestic Violence Cases


By M. J. Goodwin


October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. In my 23 years as a practicing attorney in Anderson, South Carolina, I have seen numerous cases of terrible domestic violence. Sadly, I have also seen cases of false allegations and even fabricated situations. All these situations are bad. In any similar situation, both parties benefit from experienced legal counsel. In short, whether you are the victim or the accused, it’s time to call a divorce lawyer.

Orders of Protection are governed by statute and are very serious. The relevant law can be found here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t20c004.php One of the many consequences of an Order of Protection is that is prevents the possession of firearms and therefore has Second Amendment implications. A benefit, for the victim, with an Order of Protection that doesn’t exist with a “regular” restraining order is that the order of protection provides for an offender to be arrested on sight in case of a violation of the order. This distinction is not readily understood by most litigants and therefore, having a divorce attorney to explain it can be helpful in removing some of the mystery of what is going on. Orders of Protection expire after a year, at most. Restraining Orders in court orders such as Divorce Decrees do not expire. This distinctions are all important. Particular considerations vary depending on the specific situation.

Having an Order of Protection is not the same thing as being charged with Criminal Domestic Violence in criminal court.   A criminal court can impose certain bond restrictions, such as not being around the alleged victim. But that is not the same thing as an order of protection. This recently came up in the context of a child’s emergency room visit. The mother alleged that she had an order of protection against the father and therefore sought to deny him seeing their child, who had been injured, while the child was in the ER. The criminal charges had been dismissed and no order of protection actually existed. But due to the high visibility and publicity of domestic violence, and due to well-meaning but ignorant hospital staff, the father was denied contact with the child.   It took an attorney to sort this out and to obtain an order prohibiting the mother from any such further fabrications (father’s point of view) or misunderstandings (mother’s point of view).

If you are victim of domestic violence, or if you are falsely accused of domestic violence, or even if you are an abuser, you will benefit from having an experienced family law attorney with you in Court.

Contact M. J. Goodwin, a divorce lawyer in Anderson, SC with 23 years of experience at: mj@mjgoodwin.com






One comment

  • Richard Johnson

    An Order of Protection is also commonly referred to as a restraining order. To receive an order of protection, a judicial officer must find that domestic violence has occurred and you have a specific relationship with the abuser. The family attorney or divorce lawyer can help you through the order of protection process so that you will no longer experience harassment or threats.

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