Violent Crime: Protective Order

Courts can issue protective orders against an offender accused or convicted of Assault and Battery, Strangulation, Wounding, and Stalking in Virginia. The protective order prohibits contact between the offender and the victim or a victim’s family member. It also prohibits the offender from threatening or being violent toward the victim or the victim’s family.

Violation of any of the stalking protective orders can be a Class 1 misdemeanor pursuant to Va. Code § 18.2-60.4, BUT it can also be charged as contempt of court or an additional criminal charge if the violation is also a crime.


  • Emergency Protective Orders (Va. Code §19.2-152.8):The court can issue an emergency protective order against the accused prohibiting contact with the alleged victim or a family member. The offender does not need to be present to have the protective order issued. If an offender violates the emergency protective order after being served, he can be held in contempt of court. Emergency protective orders issued in response to a charges in Virginia and are valid for 3 days.
  • Preliminary Preliminary Protective Order (Va. Code §19.2-152.9) If an offender is convicted in Virginia, a preliminary protective order will be issued against the stalker prohibiting contact with the victim or his family. This order is valid for 15 days. Violation of this protective order can be an additional, new criminal charge.
  • Protective Orders (Va. Code §19.2-152.10)The court can issue a protective order prohibiting contact between the offender and victim or his family at a hearing held within 15 days of the issuance of the preliminary protective order. This protective order can be issued for any period of time up to two years. The victim can also file for an extension of the protective order for an additional two years.