If you have recently been served a summons to report for a Civil Protection Order (CPO) hearing, it is important to know what it means for you and your family. The type of Ohio civil protection order could make a difference in your next course of action. You do NOT have to be guilty of a crime to be the defendant in a civil protection order, but if you are facing a CPO and a criminal accusation, the guidance of a qualified criminal defense attorney will give you the best opportunity for a favorable outcome.

Who Requested the Protection Order?

Protection orders begin with a complainant. The complainant is either the alleged victim of criminal offense or a family member of the alleged victim.  The arresting officer can also act as the complainant. If you have received a summons, it is likely that you’re facing criminal charges.

Restrictions Under a Protection Order

A protection order or restraining order is designed to protect the alleged victim from the accused. The accused, otherwise known as the defendant, is prohibited from being within proximity of the alleged victim (usually 100 feet) until the criminal case is resolved. In addition to not being allowed in the same home, the defendant is not to communicate with the alleged victim by email, phone, text, or through a third party.

  • It is the responsibility of the defendant to stay away from the alleged victim even if he or she is invited to the place by the alleged victim or family
  • If there is a visitation order, supervised visitation may be required along with reimbursement for the supervision
  • In many CPO cases, the defendant may not be able to possess weapon
  • The defendant will face additional criminal charges for each violation of the CPO

Types of Protection Orders

Since there are different types of civil protection orders in Ohio, it is important to know why they’ve been requested. Each carries different terms and duration.

  • Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order (DVTPO) O.R.C. §2919.26 
    • Available on filing of complaint for any offense of violence, any sexually oriented offense, criminal damaging or endangering, criminal mischief, burglary, or aggravated trespass IF a family or household member at the time
    • The TPO remains in effect until the underlying criminal charge is dismissed,  the defendant is sentenced, OR the victim is issued a CPO or consent agreement
  • Civil Protection Order (CPO) O.R.C. §3113.3 
    • Available on charges of an act of domestic violence, menacing by stalking, aggravated trespass, or a sexually oriented offense against a family or household member or who has committed an act that would result in a family or household member being an abused child
    • Duration is up to 5 years from the date of order
  • Criminal Protection Order (CRPO) O.R.C. §2903.213
    • When charges are filed for felonious assault, aggravated assault, assault, aggravated menacing, menacing by stalking, menacing, aggravated trespass, or any sexually oriented offense ONLY if victim was NOT a family or household member at the time
    • The CRPO remains in effect until the underlying criminal charge is dismissed,  the defendant is sentenced, OR another type of CPO is issued
  • Stalking And/Or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Order (SSOOPO) O.R.C. §2903.214
    • When a person has engaged in menacing by stalking or a sexually oriented offense against any other person (whether or not victim is or was a family or household member)
    • Duration is up to 5 years from the date of order

How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me Get a Restraining Order/CPO Dropped?

In short, an Ohio criminal defense attorney can file a motion to cancel the order. An experienced defense attorney will include relevant information using the language and  objectivity that courts require to provide the best chance of the motion being approved. 

An Ohio criminal defense attorney will also gather and present information regarding your residential needs, job history and travel needs, child visitation allowances, and other items that will provide some degree of normalcy during such a stressful time in your life. 

If retained for the criminal case, an experienced defense attorney can also work out communication with authorities and child protective services and present information he/she has collected to law enforcement officers in order to dissuade them from ever filing charges.

Sources: Adult Protection Order Comparison Table. Heck, Mathias. www.mcohio.org ADULT PROTECTION ORDER COMPARISON