Violations Of Protective Orders
Protective Orders are unique in that while they start out as civil matters, they become criminal matters when the accused knows of the existence of a Protective Order and fails or refuses to abide by its terms.
It is a Misdemeanor if the accused knows of the existence of an OFP or HRO and violates the order. Violations of an OFPs and HROs are punishable by up to 90 days imprisonment, the requirement to participate in counseling or other programing and fines of up to $1,000. The accused’s criminal history and the specific facts of the case can leave the accused facing more sever charges, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or fines of up to $10,000.
In order to convict the accused of violating a protective order, the prosecutor must prove:
- There was a valid protective order issued by a judge
- The accused had knowledge of the protective order’s existence
- That the accused intentionally violated the terms of the order
Fortunately, there are several effective defenses available which could include, lack of knowledge of the protective order, lack of intent to violate the order, or lack of corroborating evidence to false allegations.