In 2018, there were 32,776 reported crimes in the city of San Diego. Some of those victims and witnesses of those crimes sought protection in the form of a criminal protective order.
Although many people use protective orders for keeping them safe, some use them for more malicious reasons. If someone wrongly accuses you of a crime and files an order against you, the consequences can be life-changing. By working with an attorney, you can fight the order. Then, you can let your life return to normal. The Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC wants to take on your case.
What is a Criminal Protective Order?
A criminal protective order (or CPO) is intended to protect a crime victim from future harm or harassment from their attacker. It’s requested by law enforcement. In most cases, there is a criminal case against the attacker. The order can also be issued as a way to protect witnesses of crimes and their family members.
If you have any civil court orders, the criminal order will trump those orders. For example, a custody hearing could result in a parent having visitation with their child. But if there is a CPO that prevents contact between the parent and the child, then the parent must adhere to those terms.
The CPO is often issued when the defendant shows up for their arraignment. It’s usually petitioned by the prosecuting attorney. However, a judge can choose to deny the order. Before they make a decision on it, they will consider the details of the case. If there is no reason to believe the victim will be harmed by the defendant, the judge will deny the order.
A judge is likely to grant the CPO in all of the following circumstances:
- Assault or battery occurred
- There was sexual abuse
- Property was vandalized or destroyed
- Stalking occurred
How Long is a CPO Valid?
A CPO is not permanent. Rather, it is only valid for a certain length of time. The length depends on the crime. If the person seeking the order was seeking protection for testifying against someone, the CPO may only be valid for three years. Once the defendant is convicted and officially sentenced, the order is terminated.
On the other hand, a CPO for a sex offender or domestic violence abuser can last for ten years. Even after the defendant is in custody, the order remains valid.
The person who is protected by the CPO can ask to modify the agreement. For instance, a spouse might request that the order is changed to require no negative contact. In this case, the protective order is still in place. However, the restrained individual is required by law to keep the contact peaceful.
Other Types of Orders
There are other types of protective orders. Before someone is protected by a CPO, they might be protected by an Emergency Protective Order or EPO. A police officer may ask for this order to keep a crime victim safe from more harm. For a judge to issue this order, a police officer needs to show probable cause.
An EPO is only a short-term solution. It only lasts for a maximum of seven days. In that time, the restrained cannot speak to or approach the protected party.
Another form of protection is a temporary restraining order. You can request one if you’re a victim who has been harmed, harassed, or threatened. To receive the order, you need to have evidence of harassment or harm. These orders are usually valid for 25 days. Before the order expires, the court will have a hearing and decide whether or not there should be a permanent restraining order.
Finally, there is a civil restraining order. This is sometimes confused with a CPO. But the two are quite different. A civil restraining order is typically requested by a victim and is issued by a family law or civil judge. Much like a CPO, violating this type of restraining order can result in criminal charges.
Standing Up for Your Rights
Violating a CPO can place you in a terrible situation. You could be faced with fines and jail time. The order itself also has the potential to cause you trouble. It could keep you from your family or your home. Whether or not you violate the order, it impacts your day-to-day life.
Fortunately, you’re not alone. The Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC is waiting to take on your San Diego case. When you work with our office, you get the legal representation you need to fight the CPO. If you’re ready to take action, contact us today.