Military Protective Orders: What They Are and How They Work

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A military protective order is a directive issued by a commanding officer to restrict the movements and activities of a service member in order to protect an alleged victim from further harm. This order is often issued in response to a claim of domestic violence and/or child abuse.

The order is also known as a "military restraining order." Service members who violate a military protective order can be charged with the crime of "failure to obey a lawful order," which is punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Read on below as the Norfolk military criminal defense attorneys at The Griffin Law Firm explain more on this.

How Are You Notified of a Military Protective Order?

If you are the subject of a military protective order, you will be notified in writing of the order. The notification will include a copy of the DD Form 2873, which is the order itself. You will be served with the DD Form 2873 in person.

The form contains information on the victim, offender, witnesses, and anything related to the incident. It also includes a description of the incident and the restrictions that have been placed on the offender.

The order takes effect immediately once it has been delivered to you and signed by you.

How Long Does a Military Protective Order Last?

There is no set timeframe for how long a military protective order will remain in effect; instead, it will stay in force until your commanding officer issues a subsequent order to the contrary. The authority for a military protective order is Article 92, UCMJ. Military orders have a shelf life and can become unenforceable if they are indefinite. Most services use 6 months as a renewal period.

As we mentioned earlier, while a military protective order is in place, the offender is typically not allowed to have any contact with the victim. This includes physical contact, communication (social media or email), or trying to find out where the victim is. So, when the military protective order is given, you may have to do the following right away:

a. Vacate your current military residence; relocate to another.

b. Enroll in therapy so that the order can be lifted as soon as possible.

c. Surrender any firearms in your possession and surrender your government weapons custody card.

d. Work at a new duty station if the protected person is a coworker.

e. Present yourself to your commander to answer a few questions, etc.

What Can You Do if You Have Been Wrongfully Served a Military Protective Order?

If you have been wrongfully presented with a military protective order, the first thing you should do is consult with a military law attorney at Griffin Law Defense. Our attorneys can help you determine what your options are and how to protect your reputation best.

We will help you gather evidence to support your claim that the order was wrongfully issued. This evidence can include witness statements, text messages, and emails. Once we have this evidence, we will inform you of the next steps to have the order lifted, halting any potential damage to your career.

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