Protection Order Defense Lawyer in Columbus, OH
Serving Franklin County & Ohio
In Ohio, petitioners and alleged victims of certain crimes can seek protection orders in either civil or criminal court.
When protection orders reach the criminal justice system, defendants (known as “respondents” in civil cases) face hearings that put considerable consequences on the table, including highly restrictive terms, reputational harm, loss of civil rights, and potential for criminal charges and penalties for violations.
At Koffel Brininger Nesbitt, our award-winning criminal defense attorneys draw from decades of collective experience to help clients protect their freedoms and futures when the government brings criminal charges against them – including charges of protection order violations, domestic violence, sex offenses, stalking, and others.
If you have been accused of violating a protection order in Ohio (also referred to as a restraining order), you have rights and options. Let our proven attorneys protect them. Call for a consultation.
Ohio Protective Order Laws
Protection orders are a type of temporary court order which place specific terms and restrictions upon individuals. Typically, they prevent a named individual from being within a certain distance of the person seeking the order, contacting an alleged victim, patronizing their place of employment, and other similar conduct. They may also restrict a person’s civil rights, including their right to own firearms.
In Ohio, protection orders may arise from many different circumstances. Examples include:
- CPO: A Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order (CPO) is issued by a domestic relations court to protect alleged victims of incidents involving family or household members. CPOs last longer (up to 5 years) than criminal protection orders, and may address matters of child custody and support. Though they are civil orders, violating a CPO is a crime, and respondents who violate terms can be arrested, fined, or incarcerated.
- DVTPO: Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Orders (O.R.C. § 2919.26) are issued by criminal courts when alleged victims file criminal complaints accusing a defendant of domestic violence, or a sexually oriented offense between family or household members. As with CPOs, violating a DVTPO is a crime, and may result in fines, incarceration, or revocation of bail. DVTPOs last only until criminal cases have concluded, or until a CPO, based on the same facts, is issued by a domestic relations court.
- CRPO: A Criminal Protection Order (O.R.C. § 2903.213) is issued by a criminal court for victims of assault, sexually related offenses, or other violent crimes. It does not require a defendant to be a family or household member. A CRPO remains in effect until a criminal case is resolved, and any violation of a CRPO is a crime.
- SSOOPO: A Civil Stalking Protection Order or Civil Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order significantly limits an alleged offender from engaging in behavior that has caused extreme mental distress on two or more occasions closely related in time. Defendants who violate a SSOOPO can be charged with a new crime.
- JCPO / DV JCPO: Juvenile Civil Protection Orders or Juvenile Domestic Violence Civil Protection Orders are protection orders involving alleged offenders under the age of 18.
Because protection orders often stem from underlying allegations involving domestic violence / family violence, stalking, or sex offenses, they can make for highly complex, high-stakes cases which can devolve into “he said, she said” arguments. They also create exposure to new criminal charges for:
- Violation of a Protection Order (O.R.C. § 2919.27)
- Contempt of Court (O.R.C. § 2705.02)
Though these are difficult cases, the filing of a petition for a protection order alone does NOT guarantee a Court will grant it; defendants have the right to contest a protection order at a hearing, (be it an ex parte hearing at the time of arraignment, or a full hearing at a later date) and present evidence to support their side of the story.
As such, it is equally as important to fight underlying charges that give rise to a protection order hearing as it is to fight the protection order or violation itself.
Protection Order Hearings & Violation Defense
Given the nature of the offenses or allegations, some protection orders may be issued in a manner that is not viewed as just or fair. However, even if you disagree with the circumstances surrounding a protection order, the law states you must comply with terms when one is issued. If you do not, criminal charges can be filed, and serious penalties levied.
It is not uncommon for defendants / respondents to accidentally violate a protection order, or to obtain permission from a petitioner or alleged victim to engage in certain prohibited conduct. However, both of these acts are still crimes. Because of this, a clear and carefully crafted defense is crucial.
If you are facing a pending protection order violation hearing, working with experienced defense attorneys can help you fight any underlying allegation, additional penalties, or overly restrictive terms. In addition to defeating a protection order or violation charges, defendants may also seek modifications of certain terms in the order to limit future risks of being charged with a crime.
Call To Speak with a Proven Protection Order Defense Attorney
KBN is available to speak with clients facing criminal allegations resulting in petitions for a protection order, new charges for Violation of a Protection Order, and other criminal matters. With decades of experience representing the criminally accused, our team has the insight to effectively fight for clients in hearings and criminal proceedings in courts across Ohio. Call today to speak with an attorney.