What is the Difference Between A Criminal Protective Order And Restraining Order?

December 15, 2022 by Anastasiia Ponomarova in California  Criminal Defense  
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It’s important to note that protection and restraining orders have the same purpose in California: to somehow prevent an offender from harming the protected party. Even though they seem similar, protection and restraining orders are two different orders with different legal implications imposed in criminal and civil cases, respectively.

Depending on the situation’s specifics, a protective or restraining order may be necessary to ensure the safety of you or a loved one from an abusive partner. Read on to find out how the two court orders might provide you with the safety and security you need.

Criminal and Civil

The issuing court for a restraining order is the criminal court, whereas the issuing court for a protection order is the civil court. District attorneys often seek criminal protection orders for victims in criminal proceedings. In domestic violence cases, the prosecutor will typically seek a restraining order to protect the victim from the abuser.

A restraining order might be imposed upon one party’s request in a civil case. Restraining orders issued by the court are widespread in civil matters involving family law and other types of dispute resolution. Restraining orders may be requested for various reasons, including to prevent harassment, physical closeness, or other detrimental behavior between parties in a divorce or custody dispute.

Types of restraining orders and CPO

The courts in California may issue four different forms of protection orders. There are various types of restraining orders, such as:

  1. domestic violence restraining orders (issued to protect individuals from abuse suffered at the hands of someone with whom they share an “intimate” relationship)
  2. civil harassment (to protect from people who do not qualify as “intimate partners,” such as neighbors, coworkers, and other people you are not close to),
  3. those for elder or dependent adult abuse (to protect elders with certain disabilities from physical, e.g. (requested by an employer to protect an employee from violence or threatened violence in the workplace).

Which kinds of Criminal Protective Orders are issued?

There are two primary categories of CPOs. A CPO may mandate a defendant to remain away from a Protected Person and have no contact with them. These directives are known as “No Contact” orders. A CPO may allow communication between a defendant and a Protected Person, but only if the relationship is peaceful. These are orders for “Peaceful Contact.” However, a court may alter a CPO to address certain case-specific difficulties.

Disputed Court Orders

Sometimes, the same parties impose protection orders in both civil and criminal matters. When an accuser gets a temporary restraining order in civil court while the district attorney conducts the criminal case, this is common in domestic abuse cases. If the prosecutor brings criminal charges for the domestic violence event, he may request that the victim be granted a criminal protection order. Since two distinct orders might be issued for the same parties, there are occasionally words in the civil order and the criminal order that clash.

Violation of a Restraining or Protective Order

Anyone violating a restraining order faces serious consequences, including possible incarceration and fines. If the individual being restricted refuses to comply with the court’s order, for instance, they might face contempt of court charges. The confined individual may have further penalties if they disobey the order. A misdemeanor charge might be brought for a first offense, but felony charges would be brought for subsequent offenses. Failure to comply with protective orders may also affect child custody and visitation arrangements.

Changing Legal Decisions

Protective and restraining orders may be modified, renewed, or revoked at any time at the request of either party. For instance, the protected party may seek to lift the order if they conclude that the restricted individual poses no longer any danger. In contrast, the subject of the order may petition the court to strengthen its safeguards.

Modifications to court orders need a new court order. If you want to alter a criminal protection order, you must first submit a motion to the relevant criminal court for a hearing on the modification of the order. Fill out form CH-600 and submit it to the civil court if you need to make changes to or get rid of a restraining order.

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