Our Victim Service Officers (VSOs) work closely with victims, law enforcement, prosecutors, and court personnel to make sure victims of all crimes are properly assisted and made aware of all available resources that may benefit them.
VSOs assists victims in filling out Protection from Abuse Petitions as well as providing victims resource information for Second Chance and Family Services. If needed, the VSO sends victims to their local law enforcement agency to make reports and to obtain warrants. The District Attorney’s Office makes sure that there is someone in the office during business hours to accommodate the needs of a victim.
The primary responsibility of the VSO will be to contact victims of domestic violence and advise them of assistance our office can provide and remain their primary point of contact throughout the criminal process. The VSO assists the domestic violence prosecutor in Misdemeanor Court and Felony Preliminary Hearings as a liaison between the victim and the prosecutors. The VSO will relay important information to the victim, so the victim feels comfortable contacting the VSO with questions concerning their case.
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Frequently asked questions:
How do Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders work?
Generally victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assaults are not knowledgeable about the process of applying for a Protection from Abuse.
Once they have filled out their petition the VSO would submit it to the court for the Judge to make a decision as to grant or deny the petition. If the Judge grants the Protection Order, it is forwarded to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office for service on the defendant. It is not until the defendant is served with the PFA that the victim can have the defendant arrested for violating the PFA.
How long are PFA’s remain in effect?
Depending on the judge generally our PFA’s range from 1 to 2 years or as long as the Judge deems necessary.
Who can be included in the PFA?
In a case where children may be involved we can always petition the court to allow the children to be included. However, with all PFA’s we make no guarantee as all decisions are made by the judge.
What is the distance a person is required to stay away?
Generally unless it is specified in the Judge’s order, the defendant is not allowed to have any contact with the victim either directly or indirectly.
After a Defendant is served, what steps can I take if the order is violated?
You contact your local law enforcement to make a report and they will explain the warrant procedures. Once a warrant is signed the defendant will be arrested and charged with violation of the protection order.