Columbus Restraining Order Lawyer

Have you been served with a restraining order in Columbus, Ohio? At James D. Owen, LLC, our criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience dealing with both temporary and permanent orders. We can help you sort out these very sensitive matters and defend you if you’ve been charged with a violation.

It’s important to get your defense underway as soon as possible, so don’t delay in calling our Columbus law firm to schedule a free initial case assessment today.

How Will a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me If I’m Facing a Restraining Order in Columbus?

A restraining order should be taken very seriously. These court orders are strictly enforced and may impact your day-to-day life in significant ways. They can keep you out of your home or affect your child custody rights. 

At James D. Owen, LLC we are here to assist you during this difficult time. For years, our law firm has helped clients keep temporary restraining orders from becoming permanent ones. You may also have the right to modify or terminate an existing order, and we can assist you with this process.

In cases where you have violated an order, you may have options. Our experienced Columbus criminal defense lawyers have decades of experience handling these sensitive matters. We can help you explore potential solutions that will result in your charges either being reduced or dropped. 

Give our experienced legal team a call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case assessment. We’ll gladly discuss your rights and options, as well as address any questions that you might have.

Overview of Restraining Orders in Columbus, OH 

Now, under Ohio law, a restraining order is referred to as a civil protection order, CPO, or criminal protection order. These are orders from the court directing someone to do or not do certain things. Keep in mind that failure to follow the order’s requirements can result in legal consequences. 

That said, a protection order may do one or more of the following:

  • Ban you from a person’s house
  • Evict you from your home
  • Prohibit you from contacting your children
  • Prohibit you from contacting a victim or going to a place where they live, work, or attend school
  • Ban you from owning firearms
  • Require you to attend counseling, or
  • Require you to wear electronic monitoring to ensure that you don’t go near a victim.

Note that a court has the authority to grant these orders on a temporary basis without you being present to defend yourself. These orders are referred to as “ex parte” and they last until there can be a full hearing scheduled. 

Bear in mind that the hearing must take place within 10 days of the ex parte order being issued. Now, a temporary order lasts until a specific date, which cannot exceed 5 years. However, the order can be renewed.  

With that in mind, there are a few different types of protection orders to be aware of:

Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order (DV CPO)

These orders can only be issued against a family or household member. Note that this definition is rather broad and includes spouses, ex-spouses, parents, children, as well anyone who lives in the same household.

The protection order may be requested by the victim. It may also be sought by a parent or other adult household member on behalf of any other family or household member. Further, it does not require the victim to show that any criminal charges are currently pending. However, one of the following must have occurred: 

It’s important to remember that a domestic violence order can be issued against non-relatives that live together. This means that a roommate could seek protection against another roommate.

Civil Stalking or Civil Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order (CSPO or CSOOPO) 

Civil sexually-oriented and civil stalking protection orders are similar to those issued in cases of domestic violence, but they can be entered against anyone, even those with no relationship with the victim. But, keep in mind that there are only two offenses covered by these orders:

  • Stalking – provided there were two or more incidents of causing the victim physical harm or mental distress 
  • Commission of a sexually oriented offense

Again, there does not need to be any criminal charges pending in order for the victim to seek a protection order based on these offenses. 

Juvenile Civil Protection Order 

By contrast, a juvenile civil protection order involves filing for protection against someone under the age of 18. Note that these orders are handled by the juvenile division, rather than in the adult civil court. To qualify for this order, it must be shown that there was one of the following:

  • Domestic violence (same requirements as for an adult protection order) 
  • An assault
  • Menacing or stalking
  • Aggravated trespass
  • Commission of a sexually oriented offense 

Like the other orders, no criminal charges need to be filed against the youth perpetrator in order for the victim to seek protection.

Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order (DVTPO)

Now, in cases where there is a pending criminal or domestic violence charge against someone, the victim may file for a temporary order. Once entered, the order remains in effect throughout the duration of the case. To apply for a DVTPO, the perpetrator must be formally charged with one of the offenses listed above relating to domestic violence.

Once entered, the order will stay in effect until the case ends. After this time, it will either be terminated or replaced with a DV CPO. 

Criminal Protection Order

There are also criminal protection orders that can be pursued in cases where charges are pending that do not relate to domestic violence. However, for these to be entered, the perpetrator must have been formally charged with one of the following:

  • Assault
  • Stalking or menacing
  • Aggravating trespass, or
  • Commission of a sexually oriented offense.

Keep in mind that these orders do not take into account offenses committed against a family or household member. In these situations, the victim would instead file for a DVTPO. Further, these orders only last while the case is pending. Once the criminal matter is complete, the order either terminates or is replaced with a CSPO or CSOOPO. 

What Are the Penalties For Violating a Restraining Order in Ohio?

It’s important to recognize that if you violate a protection order in any state you may be penalized under Ohio law. Failure to follow a civil order is considered contempt of court and can result in a fine of up to $250 for a first offense.

Further, a second offense can result in a fine of up to $500, plus a jail term of up to 60 days. Third and subsequent offenses are punished more severely, and include fines up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail for each charge. 

Now, for criminal protection orders, violations carry more significant penalties. Specifically, this is considered a first-degree misdemeanor and is punished by up to 6 months in jail, plus fines up to $1,000. However, note that it is considered a fifth-degree felony if you have a prior charge of violating a protection order. This can result in between 6 and 12 months in prison and fines up to $2,500. 

Further, it is considered a third-degree felony in Ohio if the violation occurred during the commission of a felony. This can result in a prison sentence of between 1 and 5 years, plus fines as high as $10,000.  

Defending Against Violating a Restraining Order Charge in Columbus

If you have been charged with violating a restraining order, you have rights. There will be a separate hearing on the offense and you are entitled to have an attorney represent you in this proceeding. Keep in mind that the prosecutor is required to prove that you did, in fact, violate the order.

Under the law, the violation must be done either intentionally or recklessly. This means that you cannot be in violation due to mere accidents. For example, if you happen to run into the victim at the grocery store and didn’t know he or she shopped there, this would not be a violation. 

But, keep in mind that it could be considered a reckless violation if there was some basis for knowing that the victim could potentially be somewhere and you chose to go there anyway. These matters can be highly fact-sensitive, so it can be helpful to reach out to a criminal defense attorney in Columbus if you believe you are being wrongly charged with violating a restraining order.   

Contact Our Columbus Restraining Order Lawyers Today

As you can see, restraining orders are not to be taken lightly. Whether you’ve been accused of domestic violence, charged with violating an existing order, or are facing a pending protection order, you will want an experienced lawyer on your side. 

James D. Owen can help. Call our Franklin County office today to set up a free consultation and get started on your defense.