Office of the Fayette County Attorney

Victim Resources

We understand the criminal legal system can be overwhelming. Our dedicated Victims’ Advocates work with victims to inform them of how the system operates, assist victims in obtaining restitution, and provide information regarding additional community resources that are available to victims.

The 2020 Kentucky Constitutional Amendment referred to as Marsy’s Law provides the following rights to you as a crime victim:

  1.  You have the right to be treated with fairness, respect, dignity, and to be protected from intimidation or harm throughout the criminal and juvenile justice process
  2.  You have the right, upon request, to be informed about victims’ rights, criminal proceedings, and if the accused is arrested, released, or escapes
  3.  You have the right to have your safety, dignity, and privacy to be considered
  4.  You have the right to be heard at bond, bail release, pleas, or sentencing
  5.  You have the right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay
  6.  You have the right to be present at criminal proceedings
  7.  You have the right to consult with prosecution
  8.  You have standing to assert your rights, have an attorney assert your rights, or request the Attorney for the Commonwealth assert your rights
  9.  You have the right to full restitution paid by the convicted

If you are the victim of a crime in Fayette County, our Victims’ Advocates can assist you with the following:

  • Advise you of your rights as a victim under Marsy’s Law and pursuant to KRS 421.500
  • Provide information to you about the criminal legal process
  • Request your input to provide to prosecutors
  • Listen to you and provide emotional support
  • Facilitate a meeting between you and a prosecutor in your case
  • Provide you with information about safety and protection
  • Assist with restitution and/or the Crime Victims Compensation Fund
  • Refer you to other services provided by our community partners

Once you are identified as a victim of a crime committed in Fayette County, our Advocates may reach out to you via mail, phone, or in person in court. Communications with the Victims’ Advocates are not confidential but only shared with the prosecutor to assist in prosecuting the case.

Protective Orders

If you need help completing a petition for a protective order, call our advocates and we’ll assist you with the process. Also, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office has a dedicated office, Amanda’s Center, at the courthouse to help victims with the process. Learn more about Amanda’s Center.

Please note that the petitioner is the person who files a petition for a protective order. The respondent is the person who allegedly committed the abuse.

In Kentucky, the only people who qualify for a protective order are those who have a qualifying relationship with the respondent (person you want to get an order against). Disputes with your neighbor, co-workers, etc. will not qualify for the issuance of a protective order. 

To be eligible for an EPO or an IPO, the respondent must have either:

  • Physically injured or assaulted you.
  • Strangled you.
  • Sexually abused or sexually assaulted you.
  • Threatened to physically injure or assault you.
  • Stalked you.
  • Done something to place you in fear of imminent physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, strangulation, or assault.

The court may order protection for a victim of domestic violence, dating violence and abuse, stalking and/or sexual assault. Protective order cases are different from criminal cases. Protective orders are intended to prevent future acts of violence or abuse. A criminal case is usually handled by the county attorney, who prosecutes the respondent for acts of violence or abuse that have already taken place.

Temporary Protective Orders. The court may issue an emergency protective order (EPO) in domestic violence cases or a temporary interpersonal protective order (TIPO) in dating violence and stalking/sexual assault cases. These are short-term orders intended to stop violence and abuse by placing restrictions on the respondent’s actions until a hearing may be held by the court, usually within 14 days.

Long-Term Protective Orders. Domestic violence orders (DVO) and interpersonal protective orders (IPO) can last up to three years. These orders are intended to stop violence and abuse by placing restrictions on a respondent after a court hearing.

In order to get a protective order, the parties must have a qualifying relationship. Qualifying relationships include:

  • Family members. This includes a spouse, former spouse, a parent, a child, a stepchild, a grandparent, a grandchild, or any other person living in the same household as a child if the child is the alleged victim.
  • Members of an unmarried couple. This includes members of an unmarried couple who allegedly have a child in common, any children of that couple, or members of an unmarried couple who are living together or have formerly lived together.
  • A dating relationship between two individuals who have or have had a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
  • A victim of stalking or sexual assault.
  • You can request protection for yourself, your children and/or other persons who you believe may need protection.
  • If you are an adult and believe a child needs protection but you do not, you may file a petition on behalf of that child.
  • If you are under the age of 18, an adult may file a petition for you.

You can obtain a protective order at the Fayette County District Court

    • You can obtain a protective order 24 hours a day.
    • There are no fees or costs for filing a petition.

The petition will be immediately submitted to a judge or a trial commissioner for review. If a judge issues an EPO, TIPO or a summons, a hearing will be scheduled within 14 days to determine whether a long-term order is needed. You will receive something that shows you the date and time for your hearing. If you do not know when your hearing is scheduled, check with the Office of Circuit Court Clerk.

Law enforcement will then attempt to serve the protective order or summons on the respondent. A protective order does not go into effect until the respondent is served with a copy of the order or is notified about the protective order by law enforcement. You can contact the “agency assigned service” (listed on the order) to find out if the respondent has been served.

A protective order (EPO/TIPO) is effective until the court hearing is held, usually within 14 days. If the respondent has not been served with the EPO/TIPO, the order will be continued until service is made (up to six months) or until the order is withdrawn by the court. Even if you believe you no longer need protection, you will need to appear at the scheduled court hearing. Only a judge can grant a new court date or change the order. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the court may excuse you from future court appearances until the respondent is served. If the EPO/TIPO remains unserved for up to six months, you will receive a notice from the court at your last known address letting you know that the order is about to expire and that you will need to come to the courthouse to fill out a new petition in order to continue the case.

This may be the only hearing in the case, so you will need to bring any witnesses you may have and any documents that may be evidence of what has happened, such as police reports, photos and medical records. The circuit court clerk can give you forms for subpoenas for any witnesses. If you are asking for child support, bring pay stubs and tax returns if possible. All of this information will be made part of the court record.

At a full hearing, the court hears testimony from you, the respondent and any other witnesses. The court may dismiss the case or issue a DVO or IPO (domestic violence order or interpersonal protective order), which may include any of the following terms:

  1. Order the respondent to have no contact with you or other persons except as directed by the judge.
  2. Order the respondent not to go near a specified residence, school or place of employment of the petitioner.
  3. NOTE: This must be requested on the protective order petition. Any address information provided is not confidential and will be available to the respondent.
  4. Order the respondent not to abuse or threaten you.
  5. Order the respondent not to damage or dispose of your property.
  6. Order the respondent to leave your residence.
  7. Grant temporary custody of children.
  8. Anything else needed to eliminate future acts of violence.

A protective order can be enforced in any Kentucky county. Other states may enforce the order, but it should be registered in any state where you move to or plan to stay for an extended period of time.

If the respondent violates the protective order, your options may include:

  • Calling the police, who may be able to arrest the respondent.
  • Going back to the court that issued the protective order to ask that the respondent be held in contempt for violating the order.
  • Going to the county attorney’s office to see if the respondent can be charged with a crime for violating the protective order.

If you have a protective order issued by a judge, then you may have additional rights under the Landlord/Tenant Law, which went into effect June 29, 2017. These rights apply only to leases or rental agreements entered into or renewed on or after June 29, 2017.

You may wish to consult with an attorney or a victim advocate for additional information regarding your rights under the Landlord/Tenant Law.

If you have a temporary protective order (EPO or TIPO) issued or a no contact order issued by a judge pursuant to KRS 431.064 (assault, sexual offense or violation of a protective order), you have the following rights:

  • The landlord cannot terminate, fail to renew, or refuse to enter into a lease or rental agreement with you (or otherwise retaliate against you) based on the acts that led you to obtaining the temporary protective order or based on any acts that occurred during a violation of the temporary protective order.
  • You may have the lock rekeyed or change the lock to the same quality of lock or better. First, you must inform your landlord that you intend to change the lock and provide him or her with a key if requested. The landlord may also refuse to provide a key for the new lock to the respondent even if he or she is also listed on the lease or rental agreement.

Long-Term Protective Orders and Termination of Lease

In addition to the rights under a temporary protective order, once a valid DVO or IPO has been issued against a respondent for your protection or the protection of a minor in your household, you may be able to terminate your lease or rental agreement.

This does not apply if you only have a temporary protective order (EPO or TIPO) or no contact order pursuant to KRS 431.064. You must have a valid long-term protective order (DVO or IPO) issued.

This only applies to leases or rental agreements entered into or renewed on or after June 29, 2017.

If you obtained your valid protective order after entering into or renewing your lease or rental agreement, then you may terminate your agreement by providing to your landlord:

  • A written notice of termination that must have the effective date on the notice. The effective date must be at least 30 days after the landlord receives the notice.
  • A copy of the valid protective order.

If you obtained your valid protective order before entering into or renewing your lease or rental agreement, then you may terminate your agreement by providing to your landlord:

  • A written notice of termination that must have the effective date on the notice. The effective date must be at least 30 days after the landlord receives the notice.
  • A copy of the valid protective order.
  • A concern for your safety that arose after you entered into or renewed the lease or rental agreement.

Once the lease or rental agreement is terminated you shall:

  • Only be liable to pay rent on your lease or rental agreement up until the effective date of the termination.
  • Not receive a negative credit entry, a negative character reference, or be liable for any additional rent or fees solely because of the early termination of your lease or rental agreement.
  • If your lease or rental agreement is terminated at least 14 days before you move in, then you shall not have to pay any damages or penalties.Fy


I didn’t want the person arrested and charged with a crime, can I drop the charges? No, once the defendant is charged with a crime by a law enforcement officer, the victim can not drop the charges. Only a prosecutor, after a careful review of the case, can make the determination to dismiss a case. We certainly understand that there are many reasons why a victim may want a case dismissed, and our prosecutors will take the victim’s desired outcome into consideration when evaluating the case. 

If the judge has ordered the defendant to have “no contact with the victim” but you want contact with the defendant while the case is pending, you need to contact the victim advocate or prosecutor assigned to the case. 

That depends on if the defendant is charged with a class A misdemeanor (such as Assault 4th Degree) or a class B misdemeanor. A class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a $500 fine, 12 months in jail, or both. A class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to a $250 fine, 90 days incarceration, or both. 

In every case, the prosecutor also has the discretion to recommend probation in lieu of incarceration. 

If the prosecutor and the defendant’s attorney are able to reach a plea bargain, the case can be resolved quickly. 

If the case can not be resolved and one side requests a trial by jury, the case could last for several months or longer. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a large backlog and all cases are moving slower than normal. 

Victim's Rights

Do you want to be updated on what’s happening in your case? Fill out this form and an advocate or prosecutor from our office will call you!

Do you want notifications about court dates for your case? Follow these steps! To receive notifications of court dates:


Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program/ GreenHouse17
Toll Free 24hour Crisis Line 1-800-544-2022

Kentucky Domestic Violence Association

Kentucky VINE Protective Order Line

Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass
183 Walton Avenue
Lexington, KY 40508

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky
300 East Main Street, Suite 110
Lexington, KY 40507

Child Welfare Information Gateway

Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center
24hour Crisis Line 1-800-656-4673

Lexington Office
2025 Regency Rd.
Lexington, KY  40503