A Protection Order (or Domestic Violence Order) is a Court Order preventing one person (called the respondent) from behaving badly toward, or committing domestic violence against, another person (called the aggrieved). The Order can also contain additional conditions such as forcing the respondent to leave their home and to not contact or go anywhere near the aggrieved or aggrieved’ s children. Initially an Order is temporary but the Court moves relatively swiftly to determine whether a permanent (usually 5 year) Order should be made. Once an Order is in place (either temporary or permanent) any breach of the conditions can give rise to severe criminal penalties, including a prison sentence. If you are a respondent to an application for a Domestic Violence or Protection Order it is very important that you obtain legal advice as soon as possible. While it is theoretically possible to challenge a temporary Order this is rarely successful - challenging an application for a permanent order at a Court hearing has a much higher chance of success. Rawlings Criminal Law are experienced in opposing such applications and ready to assist you throughout the process.