Criminal Protective Order

Criminal Protective Order

In California whenever someone is accused of a domestic violence related offense, the prosecution routinely has the court issue a Criminal Protective Order (“CPO”). A CPO in effect can separate loved ones from each other and cause not only an emotional hardship for those involved but also a financial hardship due to the fact that those affected will be forced to live in separate locations.

With the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney, it is possible that these CPOs can be stopped altogether or modified. If modified, the CPO will allow those accused to have peaceful contact with those “protected persons” listed in the CPO. In order to get a CPO modified the court considers various factors in their analysis to determine whether the person accused is a good candidate to have the CPO modified or not.

Issuance of a Criminal Protective Order

The court issuing the CPO will generally make this order at the very first appearance the defendant makes which is at the arraignment. Under California law, a defendant who is accused of domestic violence is required to be present in court where they are personally served with the CPO in open court. Arraignment on a domestic violence charge is an extremely critical stage due to the fact that the defendant has an opportunity to address the issuance of a CPO with the help of a skilled domestic violence defense attorney. With the help of a skilled domestic violence defense attorney, a defendant will be able to show that the alleged victim is not in fear of bodily harm and that the issuance of a CPO will present an undue burden to the family that it will, in many cases, likely separate.

Factors the Court Considers

Some of the factors that are analyzed by the court in determining whether to issue a full CPO or a modified order include:

  1. The seriousness of the current offense that the defendant is accused of.
  2. The defendant’s relationship to the alleged victim/protected person.
  3. Whether the alleged victim was physically harmed or not by the defendant.
  4. Whether the alleged victim is in fear of future harm from the defendant.
  5. Whether there are any current restraining orders in place against the defendant, either civil or criminal.
  6. The defendant’s criminal history, which includes prior convictions, arrests, or allegations of domestic violence.

If a full CPO is ultimately issued by the court, the defendant will be ordered not to contact, annoy, harass, threaten, or commit acts of violence against the protected person. Additionally, they will not be able to have any communication with the protected person even through a third party. Further, law enforcement will be notified of the CPO and the terms ordered against the defendant within one day. Should a defendant decide to violate the CPO they can be punished by the court for a separate crime and sentenced to up to six months in the county jail.

Because of the many collateral consequences that come with a CPO, it is imperative that you speak to a skilled domestic violence attorney in order to fight the issuance of the CPO or get a modified order. It is important to note that a CPO hearing can occur at any time during the pretrial phases of a domestic violence case.

If you or a loved one has been investigated, accused, or arrested for domestic violence or has been served with a domestic violence protective order, it is crucial that you meet with a skilled domestic violence attorney immediately. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Michael Kraut understands the implications of a protective order and works hard to ensure his clients receive the most comprehensive defense possible.

For more information about domestic violence protective orders and criminal protective orders, and to schedule your free consultation, contact criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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