Protective order attorneys are instrumental in a number of scenarios including getting protective orders issued to protect a client, defending against the issuing of a protective order when it is inappropriate, and defending against false allegations of protective order violations in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
A Protective Order by Any Other Name
Protective orders are often called restraining orders, but in Oklahoma a protective order is authorized specifically in regard to domestic relationships. That means household members, family members or individuals in a current or former dating relationship.
Like more general restraining orders, protective orders issued under the Protection from Abuse Act are issued by courts to protect a potential victim or to restrain a person from engaging in a particular set of actions that are seen as potentially harmful to the person the order seeks to protect.
Protective orders can be issued by a court or an emergency or ex parte basis. Emergency orders are usually for a very short time period, often for 24 or 48 hours until a more formal hearing can take place. These are often issued in domestic violence situations.
Except for the emergency ex parte orders, protective orders are in effect only after a hearing in which the person whose actions are being restrained has the opportunity to defend against the issuance of the order. In a domestic situation, often the court issues mutual protective orders so that spouses or partners are protected from each other. Extended ex parte orders can make a divorce more problematic.
Courts may continue the protective order hearing until divorce or custody matters are decided, often joining the cases to be heard as the same time. That can make emergency, ex parte orders in effect for an extended period. During that time, individuals can be barred from seeing each other or entering a shared home.
What Kinds of Things are Included?
Most often a protective order prohibits all contact. It can also prohibit threats, harassment, stalking, and all violence toward a victim. It may require that the perpetrator stay a certain distance from the victim, victim’s home, or place of work. It can also prevent any violence or threat of violence to the victim’s pet. Okla. Stat. tit. 22 §§ 60.1, 60.2
People often wonder about the parameters of a no-contact order. But a no-contact order means all contact is prohibited — direct and indirect. That means that you cannot ask a friend or relative to contact the victim for you.
Accidental contacts do happen sometimes. You see each other on the street. If that happens, it is wise to cross the street and keep going. Do not stop or try to explain it away.
Limitations and Issues
Protective orders are issued in a number of situations, most often in domestic disputes between two people. Protective orders are useful when there is a real threat or harassment that cannot otherwise be addressed by law enforcement. But they have both pluses and minuses.
A protective order can give a troubled relationship time for emotions to settle down. Time and space can de-escalate a violent or potentially violent situation.
But families can be torn apart by a restraining order. In addition, there is always the real possibility that the other side, the party you are seeking to restrain, may ask the court for the same remedy. In that case, often a court will usually issue mutual protective orders — which can make it difficult to work out issues if you are in the middle of a divorce.
Restraining orders can also be wrongly used as a tool to gain leverage in a divorce or other family law matter. This is especially true in custody disputes. In this type of case, an attorney can help the court understand the dynamics and motivations of the parties involved.
Violating a Protective Order: Penalties
A violation occurs whenever any of the terms of the order are compromised.
If the order requires you to stay away from the other’s place of work and you enter that building, you have violated the protective order. If the order prohibits contact and you get your nephew to deliver a message, you have violated the order.
Violations carry penalties that increase with each violation.
A first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by of up to a year in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 22 § 60.6
A subsequent violation of a protective order is a felony. This crime carries a prison term of one to three years, a fine between $2,000 and $10,000, or both.
If injury or impairment occurs as a result of the violation, a first offense is a misdemeanor. This punishable by 20 days to a year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. A subsequent injurious violation is a felony punishable by imprisonment from one to five years, a fine between $3,000 and $10,000, or both.
In almost all cases, whether seeking to obtain a protective order or to prevent the court from imposing a protective order, it is best to work with an experienced emergency protective order attorney. An attorney can help guide you through the process, and help you decide if a protective order is the best thing for your situation if you are seeking one.
Alternatively, if you are the person who is being restrained, an experienced attorney can help you defend against the imposition of an unfair restraining order.
Confidential Consultation: Muskogee Protective Order Attorney
Get your questions answered and get help you need. Understand the law and how it applies to your particular situation. A Muskogee protective order lawyer can help. Call us today at 918-884-7774.