Serving And Defending Protective Orders Throughout Minnesota
Orders for Protection and Harassment Restraining Orders
Individuals who have experienced physical abuse, or felt in fear of physical safety, security or privacy because of another person words or actions may request relief in the form of Protective Orders. When issued, protective orders prevent the alleged abuser/harasser from having contact with the person seeking the Order. In Minnesota there are two types of civil protective orders:
- Orders For Protection (OFP)
- Harassment Retraining Orders (HRO)
Which protective order is appropriate for each case will depend on the nature of the relationship between the victim and the alleged abuser/harasser, as well as the nature of the alleged abuser’s/harasser’s words or actions.
2 PART PROCESS
To ensure victims of abuse or harassment are not left in danger, Court’s review Petitions for OFPs or HROs without providing advance notice to the accused, and issue temporary orders which are then served upon the accused. In some cases, the temporary order will set the matter for an evidentiary hearing within 10 days. In other cases, the court will place the burden upon the accused to request a hearing.
For individuals seeking protection, the evidentiary hearing is a chance to prove the truth. For individuals challenging the protective order, the evidentiary hearing is critical to disproving the allegations of abuse or harassment. If protective orders are not challenged or negotiated properly, they can have serious consequences for the accused including the loss of right to carry or poses firearms, the loss of ability to maintain employment, the loss of use of the homestead, and the loss of access to their children.
Regardless of whether you are seeking to obtain or defend against a Protective Order, its critical to work with an experienced lawyer who can protect your rights and interests. Hill Crabb, LLC has worked with clients on both sides of the issue, successfully obtaining and successfully defending against protective orders.
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.