Important Steps to Take When Served with a Protective Order
So, the next topic I want to talk to you guys about is also related to POs. What about if the PO has been filed, what are some initial things you should know when you get served? My name is Brian L. Jackson, I’m an Oklahoma father’s rights attorney here with Dads.law, and I’m here with my daughter, Danielle, as my guests say, and I’m here to talk to you guys about what you should know immediately after being served with a protective order.
First of all, any time you get served with a protective order, it’s going to be by the sheriff, and the general rules of dealing with law enforcement apply here too. Don’t talk to them. Any of the legitimate grounds for a protective order, generally speaking, would also constitute a crime, and you wouldn’t be well served to shut up, because you can reasonably assume that there is a distinct possibility you’re being investigated for one or more crimes related to the alleged grounds for the protective order. Don’t talk to the sheriff who serves you.
Another thing to be aware of, and I see this happen fairly on a semi-frequent basis, where you get served with a protective order, and then she reaches out to you, and texts you, emails you, calls you, contacts you on social media and whatnot. Don’t respond to that. Do keep a record, don’t respond to that. Understand that she can’t violate her own protective order. If she contacts you, there’s no criminal consequences to that, it might weaken a protective order case, but that’s about it. There’s no immediate legal consequence for doing that by her. But if you respond, you just violated the protective order, you committed a criminal misdemeanor. So if she reaches out to you, you do not respond. Now you do want to keep a record of it, because your attorney who’s defending you on the PO can make use of that as evidence that she’s not afraid of you, that she’s not really being harassed or stalked, or whatever, because she’s still making contact. So it can be used to undermine her credibility as to the grounds for the PO. But you cannot respond.
Why You Should Stay Away from Social Media
Another thing, do not post anything at all about her on social media, and my advice as well would be not to be accessing her social media profiles. Anything you do on those sites is tracked, and even if it’s not necessarily brought back to her attention that you did it, if it comes out later that you’ve been on her social media site, even if you didn’t post anything there, that could potentially be construed as a violation of a protective order. Stay off of it. Also, you don’t necessarily need to know whatever the hell she’s up to now that you’re parted, because that’s liable. There’s nothing you’re going to find there that’s going to make you happy. There’s plenty you could find there that’ll make you very unhappy, especially if she’s picked up with a new guy, or if she’s doing something else you don’t like, or there’s some post about her being a victim, whatever. Now, if she has social media, you should tell your attorney about that, but you don’t have any good reason to be on her social media profile, so as a general rule, it’s probably not a bad idea to stay off of there, too.
Dealing with Family Members and Law Enforcement
Family members. Do not pass messages to her through her family or through your family, because that’s a violation, too. Also, it’s probably a good idea to stay away from her family, even though you’re not technically legally prohibited. Consider that a bear trap. It’s not a good idea. If they reach out to you, it’s probably better you don’t communicate with them. Some other things to be aware of. If you are arrested, shut your mouth. Seriously. If you get arrested for something related to a protective order, shut it. Don’t talk to the cops. Don’t try to explain. Shut up. You are not talking your way out of it, but you can certainly talk your way into worse trouble. Shut your mouth. Also, if they come up and want to have a look around your house or whatever, if they don’t have a warrant, you don’t let them in.
What to Do with Your Weapons
Some other last thoughts as far as if you’ve just been served with a P.O. If you own any weapons, and I mean specifically firearms, but other types of weapons, even if it doesn’t technically order you to surrender your weapons, it’s probably a good idea that you do it anyway. Go check them in at a gun store, or if you have a friend you trust who’s safe, have them hold it for you, whatever, whatever. Technically speaking, if it’s an emergency protective order and it doesn’t expressly say you cannot have a firearm, there’s no legal authority that says you can have a weapon, but it’s probably in your best interest that you do not have a weapon under those circumstances, and it’s pretty common that the court will order you to surrender any weapons. So if you’re ordered to surrender weapons, then you should get with a lawyer and comply with whatever you’re ordered to do, and that may mean you surrender them to the sheriff, which sucks, but obviously if you’re court ordered, you need to comply with court order. If it doesn’t specifically order that, you might still be well served to have someone hold your hardware until such a time as the PO is resolved.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you have any questions about any of that, or if you’ve recently been served with a PO, you need a good Tulsa protective order defense lawyer. One place you can find a good lawyer is at Dads.Law, where fathers are not disposable.