In a series of posts, we've been providing some background information about protection orders here in Tennessee, including the circumstances in which they are typically granted and, most recently, how temporary protection orders -- or TPOs -- work.
Our purpose in doing this has been to demonstrate how someone facing domestic abuse charges needs to perhaps worry about more than just the penalties associated with a conviction, as the collateral consequences -- such as the issuance of a TPO -- can prove to be incredibly onerous and altogether life-altering.
In today's post, our final in the series, we'll examine extended protection orders (EPOs). As with our examination of TPOs, we'll look at the circumstances in which they are issued and the degree to which the accused will find their actions limited.
Tennessee law permits domestic abuse victims to seek extended protection orders, which are valid for up to one year when granted and renewable for one-year intervals thereafter.
Outside of their duration, another key area in which EPOs differ from TPOs is that while the latter can be ordered ex parte (i.e., without notice and in the absence of the accused), the former requires a full hearing giving both sides a chance to share their version of events.
The stakes are also considerably higher for the accused, as an EPO can offer all of the protections of a TPO, as well as some the following additional protections:
- Requiring the accused to provide a married spouse and any children the couple has together with the necessary financial support for the duration of the EPO.
- Awarding custody of any children either born to or adopted by the couple to the alleged victim for the duration of the EPO.
- Ordering the accused to attend counseling relating to anger management and/or substance abuse.
- Mandating that the accused vacate the home, or provide the alleged victim with suitable living arrangements if he or she is the sole owner or lessee of the home.
If you have been charged with domestic abuse, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected and that your side of the story is told.