What is an Order of Protection?
A court issues Orders of Protection (OOP) to victims of domestic violence. Orders demand that an abuser stops threatening, stalking, harassing, or physically assaulting the victim. The order may also require the accused to not go near the victim’s home, work, church, or school. The order could also include restrictions against any type of contact with the victim.
Penalties for Violating an Order of Protection
The severity of penalties is the main difference between restraining orders and orders of protection. If a person violates a restraining order, he or she will face a contempt charge and be required to pay a fine. However, if an abuser violates a protective order, criminal charges can be filed, ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D Felony, depending if it’s a second offense and on the severity of the new violation.
What if We are Working on Reconciling?
Consult an attorney. The order of protection does not allow any contact between the parties. The order of protection can only be lifted by a judge. People often violate an Order of Protection because they think it is all right to meet and discuss possible reconciliation before the hearing.
It needs to be repeated: Do not interact with each other until the order of protection is resolved or until it expires.
Those who violate a protective order are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum of one year in jail. If the violation of a protective order occurs within five years of a previous conviction for violating a protective order, the new violation might be charged as a Class D felony.
Defenses to a Charges of Violating an Order of Protection
You may have several defenses available to charges of violating an order of protection. These defenses include showing that the defendant and victim have reconciled or proving that the victim invited the defendant to the victim’s residence or place of employment, knowing that the protective order prohibited the defendant from being present at these locations. In these situations, be prepared to bring evidence, such as text messages or emails, to aid your defense.