Restraining Order Lawyer in Ohio
Protection orders, sometimes referred to as restraining orders, need to be taken seriously. Under Ohio law, protection orders can be issued by a court where there is an allegation of domestic violence, stalking, a sexual offense, or other alleged criminal conduct. A person does not have to be charged with a crime to be subject to a protection order.
If you have been subjected to a restraining order, it is in your best interests to retain a criminal defense attorney with experience in these volatile cases. At Engel and Martin, we help clients fight these orders and defend themselves against any underlying accusations. With years of experience protecting the rights of clients across Ohio, we are well-versed in restraining order laws.
What Types of Restraining Orders Could You Face in Ohio?
Depending on the allegations against you, you could be subjected to any of the following protection orders.
Civil Protection Orders
Civil protection orders (CPOs) are issued by the Domestic Relations Court in response to allegations of domestic violence cases. They can last up to five years and may address matters like child custody and support. Although civil orders, it is illegal to violate a CPO and those who do so can be arrested, fined, or incarcerated.
The alleged victim is not required to show that criminal charges are pending against you, but for them to be granted the order, at least one of the following must have occurred:
- A threat of imminent serious physical harm
- An attempt to cause bodily injury
- Reckless conduct that results in bodily injury
- Aggravated trespass
- Child abuse
- Commission of a sexually-oriented offense
Temporary Protection Orders
Temporary protection orders (TPOs) are issued by criminal courts when alleged victims accuse a defendant of domestic violence or sexually-oriented offenses between family or household members. They are typically issued ex parte, or after the court has only heard from one side. A full hearing on the protection order is usually scheduled within ten days.
Violating a TPO can result in fines, incarceration, or revocation of bail. These orders last only until criminal cases are concluded or until a domestic relations court issues a CPO based on the same facts
Anti-Stalking Protection Orders and Civil Stalking Protection Orders
Anti-stalking protection orders and civil stalking protection orders are issued by the Common Pleas court in situations where the people involved are not family or household members. These orders impose strict limitations on an alleged offender’s ability to engage in certain behaviors causing extreme mental distress. Those who violate these orders can be charged with a new offense.
Criminal Protection Orders
Criminal protection orders (CRPOs) are issued by the criminal courts when any violent, threatening, or trespassing charges have already been filed against you. You don’t have to be a family member or member of the same household. CRPOs remain in effect until a criminal case is resolved, and any violation of a CRPO is a crime.
Depending on which order you face, you may be subject to some of the following limitations:
- Staying away from the alleged victim’s house
- Staying away from your own home if you live with the person
- Refraining from contacting your children
- Refraining from contacting the alleged victim or going to their home, workplace, or school
- A prohibition on owning firearms
- Attending counseling, or
- Wearing electronic monitoring to ensure that you don’t go near the alleged victim
Restraining Order Violations Have Harsh Consequences
A violation of a protection order is a crime that can lead to jail time. Even an allegation of a violation — even if unproven — can lead to jail time as a result of Ohio “preferred arrest” law. In addition, persons subject to a protection order may not be permitted to carry firearms under federal law.
In Ohio, the penalties for violating a protective order are defined by O.R.C. § 2919.27. A violation is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. If you have previously been found guilty of violating a protection order (either the current or a previous one) or have committed two or more instances of the offenses below, the charge is upgraded to a fifth-degree felony.
- Aggravated trespass
- Aggravated menacing
Fifth-degree felonies are punishable by six to 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine. If you are accused of violating the protection order while committing a felony, you could be facing a third-degree felony charge with up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Not only can violating a protection order allow you to be arrested on sight for contempt of court, but you can also encounter future problems accessing opportunities that require a background check. This includes:
- Professional licensing
In order to protect your rights, you must contact an experienced restraining order attorney as soon as possible after violating or being wrongly accused of violating any type of civil or criminal protection order in Ohio.
Defending Charges of Restraining Order Violation
If you are accused of violating a restraining order in Ohio, there will be a separate hearing on the matter, and you are entitled to representation by an attorney.
The prosecution must prove that you intentionally or recklessly violated the order. Accidental encounters aren’t the same. For example, if you ran into the alleged victim at a movie theater and had no idea they would be going there that night, it’s not a violation.
Remember, though, that it could be considered a reckless violation if you knew the victim could potentially be somewhere and went anyway. For example, if you are both gaming enthusiasts and a gaming convention comes to town, there may be a good chance the other person will also attend. In these situations, it’s best to contact a restraining order lawyer before proceeding.
When dealing with any matters involving a restraining order in Ohio, it is always important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side. At Engel and Martin, LLC, we protect the rights of clients facing the limitations of an order and the consequences of an actual or alleged violation.
Why Hire a Restraining Order Lawyer at Engel and Martin, LLC?
Our restraining order lawyers at Engel and Martin, LLC, have the experience necessary to effectively represent persons facing protective order allegations. Joshua Adam Engel and Mary K. Martin are former prosecutors who have handled hundreds of protection order cases both as criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors. In one significant case involving a protection order violation, State v. Fernbach, Engel argued before the Ohio Court of Appeals on sentencing issues for a person found guilty of violating a protection order while in jail on felony domestic violence charges.
Joshua Engel served on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence, where he helped revise the protection order forms used in every Ohio courthouse. Engel is a frequent speaker on domestic violence and protection order issues, including presentations to conferences sponsored by the Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys’ Association, and D.A.R.E.
Contact Engel and Martin at 513-445-9600 or at email@example.com to schedule a consultation. New clients facing criminal charges should submit information on the Rapid Response page or visit our office at 4660 Duke Drive, Suite 101 Mason, Ohio 45040.