Defending Against Oklahoma Protective Orders

Tracy Tiernan - May 13, 2020 - Criminal Defense

Under Oklahoma, victims of certain crimes can seek protection from alleged abusers in the form of either protective orders (POs) or victim protection orders (VPO). Sometimes referred to as restraining orders, these orders are designed to prevent harassment, intimidation, or harm. 

Understandably, a person who is charged with violating these orders can face strict penalties. The following reviews some important details of what to expect if you are charged with violating one of these orders.

There are Three Types of Protective Orders

There are three types of protective orders that a person can be charged with violating. These include emergency temporary orders, emergency ex parte orders, and final orders of protection. Emergency temporary orders of protection are issued when courts are closed, emergency ex parte orders of protection are granted if a person can file a petition at a district court during court business hours, and final protective orders are only issued after court hearings.

Temporary orders are often issued at a violent scene to which law enforcement responds. These orders are given when an individual is viewed as immediately needing protection, but the courts are closed. 

A responding law enforcement officer should have a petition available for individuals seeking protection. A judge must then provide a verbal approval for the emergency temporary order, which will remain valid until the end of the first business day.  

For a temporary order to be classified as an emergency order, an individual must file a petition in the courthouse where either the victim or the alleged abuse lives or where the event occurred. If a judge issues an emergency order, a hearing for a final order is scheduled within 14 days. During this hearing, a judge will either issue a final order or dismiss the petition. 

Violations of Protective Orders

Oklahoma law punishes people who violate protective orders in several ways, depending on the severity of the violation. Penalties tend to fall into the following categories:

  • For first offenses that do not result in physical injury, a person can expect to face misdemeanor charges. This means that an individual will be met with either up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • A first offense that results in physical injury will still be classified as a misdemeanor and a defendant can end up facing up to $5,000 in fines and a minimum 20-day prison sentence.
  • For second or subsequent offenses, a person can end up facing a prison sentence of up to five years as well as fines of up to $10,000.

Defenses to Protective Orders 

There are various ways to defend against protective orders, which include:

  • A person was not aware that a protective order was in place and as a result, did not knowingly violate the order.
  • A person was aware of the protective order but did not intentionally violate the terms of this order.
  • The person being charged was falsely accused and did not contact the person who obtained the order.

Contact a Skilled Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorney

Charges accompanying the violation of an Oklahoma protective order can be severe. If you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney, do not hesitate to contact attorney Tracy Tiernan to schedule a free case evaluation.