A seventeen-hour standoff at a Tulsa apartment complex came to a tragic end this morning. An as of yet unidentified 36-year-old man violated a protective order yesterday when he arrived at his estranged wife’s apartment. The couple is divorcing, but they share joint custody of their 5-year-old son. The mother left the apartment, and the man barricaded himself inside. He then fired off ten gunshots inside the residence. After his surrender, the police found the boy dead inside the apartment.
Shocking, tragic, and all the more horrifying because of the protective order—a measure that should have kept the abuser away from the wife. The media is quick to report extreme cases of protective order violations and the violent, sometimes lethal results.
But a protective order remains an important step in efforts to stop abuse. In general, the threat of further legal action, costs, and embarrassment effectively dissuades the abuser from continuing the threatening behavior. In short, protective orders work more than they fail. In Oklahoma, a final protective order may order the abuser to comply with the following, as they apply to the specific situation:
- stop abusing you
- stop threatening you
- not contact you
- not to stalk or harass you
- not visit your children, if the abuser has visitation privileges
- vacate a home that he shares with you so that you may live there in peace
- pay your attorney’s fees, if you have any
- hand over any firearms in his possession to the authorities and forbid him from buying firearms
- attend counseling programs
(Taken from http://oklaw.org/resource/protective-order#4)
Immediate safety measures are essential. Finding shelter and preventing another attack are paramount on the list. Oklahoma legal aid provides this checklist even before a protective order is filed: http://sites.lawhelp.org/Program/3545/RTF1.cfm?pagename=Safety%20Plannin. Among the safety and practical planning steps, the list emphasizes a support network among family and friends. An attorney offers support as an essential element of that network as well, especially as part of a divorce proceeding. While anyone can undertake the protective order process, it nevertheless involves a series of complicated legal steps, often including hearings in front of a judge. A legal advocate can answer questions and help alleviate stress in a traumatic and trying time.
Jeff Krigel is an attorney in Tulsa who focuses his practice on criminal defense and family law.. The Jeff Krigel Law firm is a full-service Oklahoma law firm dedicated to achieving your legal goals in a competent, trusting, and result oriented manner. The firm is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and handles criminal defense, as well as other legal matters in all Oklahoma Counties. If you are facing divorce, it is important to seek the help of a qualified attorney. We offer free consultations and have payment plans available. There is no reason not speak with someone regarding your case. If you have questions regarding your specific divorce case, or any other family law matter, call for a free consultation. 918-994-2340