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What is a criminal protective order?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Allegations of domestic violence have the potential to completely change someone’s life. It is important to respond to allegations and charges as soon as possible to resolve the matter quickly and effectively.

Otherwise, California residents may not be able to meet family members, attend children’s birthdays or even shop in the same store they used to previously. It can also affect one’s employment and living arrangements.

Variations of the criminal protective order

In certain criminal cases with allegations of domestic violence, a prosecutor may seek a type of criminal protective order. Such orders can fall into the category of “Full No Contact” and “No Negative Contact”.

In “Full No Contact” orders, the person facing charges will be told they must stay away from the alleged victim for the term of the CPO. In some cases, exemptions may be carved out to allow for the visitation of a child.

In “No Negative Contact” orders, the defendant and alleged victim may be able to see each other but only as long as the contact remains civil and peaceful. Criminal protective orders are different from Civil Restraining Orders, which may be granted by a civil court outside of an active criminal case.

How to approach a criminal protective order

Anyone facing a criminal protective order should first make sure they understand it through reading it carefully. The orders in it must be followed, as any alleged violations could lead to jail time. Importantly, in certain situations where both a criminal protective order and civil restraining order are granted by the criminal and civil courts, respectively, the more restrictive of the two will be enforced by officials.

For example, if a CPO requires “Full No Contact” while a civil restraining order allows for “No Negative Contact”, authorities will enforce the CPO and its “Full No Contact” requirement.

Despite what can feel like a very dire situation, there are legal options available to anyone facing such a restrictive court order. It may, for example, be possible to seek a modification.

Consulting someone who can walk one through the process and ensure their rights are protected can be helpful for those facing domestic violence charges.