A protection order, which is also known as a restraining order, restricts many of the freedoms you take for granted.
Protection orders can be difficult to obey because they can prevent you from seeing or even talking to your loved ones. A violation of a protection order further complicates an already difficult time in your life.
Knowing what to do if you violate a protective order in Ohio is not easy. Understanding your legal rights is necessary to navigating a violation of a protective order successfully. Speaking with Gouraris Abboud’s protective order violation defense lawyers is your first step toward regaining your freedom.
Types of Protective Orders
Ohio law recognizes four types of protective orders. Ohio courts have authority to issue:
- Domestic violence temporary protective orders,
- Civil protection orders,
- Criminal protection orders, and
- Anti-stalking or sexually oriented offense protection orders.
Courts issue domestic violence temporary protective orders to prevent further abuse or violence for a limited time until a permanent order issues. Judges also issue criminal protective orders to prevent violence between a person accused of certain crimes and the victim.
Domestic relations judges issue civil protective orders during a divorce or other family law matters. Civil protective orders apply to people of the same family or household.
Penalties for Violation of a Protection Order in Ohio
Prosecutors and judges in Ohio take violations of protection orders seriously. Prosecutors ask for long jail or prison sentences and stiff terms of probation. Also, judges sentence people to long prison terms and strict probation terms for violating a protective order.
Ohio law defines violating a protection order as a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction for a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio carries a six-month maximum jail sentence and a fine up to $1,000.
A person who violates a protection order might face felony charges if aggravating factors apply. Violating a protection order is a fifth-degree felony if the person was previously convicted of:
- Violating a protection order that protects a minor, a criminal protection order, a stalking protection order, a domestic violence protection order, or a temporary order;
- Having two or more convictions for menacing, stalking, or trespassing with the same victim as specified in the order; or
- Having at least one prior conviction for violating a protection order.
Violating a protection order escalates to a third-degree felony if the violation occurred during the commission of a felony.
Ohio courts have jurisdiction to convict a person if they violate a protection order in Ohio even though another state issued it. However, an Ohio court cannot convict a person for violating a protection order issued by another state if the order does not comply with federal law.
Other defenses depend on the nature of the alleged violation because each situation is unique. Some alleged victims might report an offense that never happened. Still other alleged victims could contact the defendant and report that the accused initiated the contact. Alternatively, the contact between the two parties could be accidental or insignificant.
Arguing that you did not have sufficient notice of the protective order is another viable option in the right case. You could not be held responsible for violating an order if you did not receive proper notice.
Should I Hire an Attorney If I Violated a Protection Order?
Shouldering the burden of representing yourself is a dangerous proposition. The prospect of going to jail or prison is high if found guilty of violating a restraining order. Also, the court could order you to complete probation and wear a monitoring device.
There are other implications, as well. Violating a protective order remains on your record and cannot be erased. Additionally, you could experience difficulty finding sufficient housing and exploring educational or career opportunities, and you will not be able to possess a firearm.
Meeting with an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney is the most crucial step you can take when deciding to represent yourself. The future consequences significantly outweigh any money you save representing yourself.
Contact Us Right Away with Any Questions You Have
Gounaris Abboud’s violation of protective order defense lawyers will use their tremendous experience to guide you through this challenging time in your life.
Our former prosecutors use their vast courtroom knowledge to develop successful defense strategies. Contact us today at 937-222-1515 for a free consultation.