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Stages Of A Victim’s Protective Order (VPO) Case | What Happens

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2017 | Domestic Abuse, Practical Tips, Victim Protective Order

This content was written for Cale Law Office

Hey, this is Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale here. In this segment, I’m going to talk to you about the procedure for victim’s protective order matters. So all the kind of guide you through the stages of a victim’s protective order case. Sometimes people call them restraining orders, or VPO’s. If you’ve been served for petition for protective order, call me at the Cale Law Office right away at 918-771-7314. Your initial consultation is free.

I first want to tell you something really important. Never consent to or agreed to a victim’s protective order being granted against you. I’ve been in court countless times and a judge will ask the defendant if he contests the VPO petition or agrees to it. A lot of people will agree to it without fully understanding the consequences. I’ve handled a lot of these cases. Sometimes I get them dismissed or lessen their impact. I aggressively represent my clients and work to get the best result possible for them.

By the way, if you haven’t seen my video about the consequences of a VPO or read the blog, be sure to take a look at it. Here’s a link to that. It has some really good information in there.

So let’s get right to it. This isn’t legal advice. It’s for educational purposes and it’s a general overview of the stages of a victim’s protective order case. A VPO case gets started with a filing of a petition for protective order. Here’s an example here. Let me first give you some definitions. A “petitioner” is the person who is filing the petition for protective order and claiming that he or she is entitled to some kind of relief from the court. The defendant is the person accused in the petition.

Who Can File For A Protective Order
Under Oklahoma’s Protection from Domestic Abuse Act, only a certain category of people can file for a protective order. I’ve broken it down into a three groups or categories. For the first group or category, it has to be someone who alleges that they are a victim of domestic abuse, stocking, harassment, and/or rape. Second group deals with someone who is filing on behalf of another person. Under the law, any adult household member can file on behalf of any of other family or household member who is a minor or incompetent and is a victim of domestic abuse, stocking, harassment, and/or rape. An example of an incompetent person could be somebody that has dementia or some kind of developmental delay. The third group is any minor who is 16 or 17 years old and alleges to be a victim of domestic abuse, stocking, harassment, and/or rape. So, if a person does not fall within at least one of those categories, and he or she is not eligible to file for a petition for protective order.

Where a Victim’s Protective Order (VPO) Petition Can Be Filed
A petition for victim’s protective order can’t be filed in just any court. The law states that there are three areas or places where the petition can be filed. It can be filed in the District Court of the county in which: 1) the alleged victim resides; 2) the defendant resides; or 3) the alleged domestic violence occurred.

What First Happens After the VPO Petition is Filed
What typically happens after the victim’s protective order petition is filed is what’s called an ex parte hearing. Ex parte is a Latin term meaning from or by a party. Ex parte hearings are hearings where just one party to the case is heard. If any order comes out a hearing it is a temporary order because the other side has not had an opportunity to be heard. At the ex parte hearing, the judge can either grant or deny relief. If granted, an emergency protective order (EPO) will be issued this is a temporary protective order. A full hearing to allow both sides to be heard must be set within 14 days from when the petition was filed.

Service of the EPO and Petition Upon the Defendant
Next, the temporary Emergency Protective Order and the Petition for Protective Order must be served to the defendant. There will also be a notice of hearing showing the date, time, and location of the full hearing. Service is usually done by a sheriff’s deputy. If you get served with an EPO and Petition, I suggest three things: 1) don’t say anything to the deputy. See Top 10 Reasons Not to Talk to Police in my website. 2) don’t talk about the situation with anyone except a lawyer; 3) call me, Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale right away at 918-771-7314. Your initial consultation is free. You definitely want to have an attorney representing you a victim’s protective order case. There are too many detrimental or bad consequences with getting hit with a victim’s protective order. I share some of those things in my video about the Consequences of Getting a VPO Against You.

What Happens at the Full Hearing
The next step is to have a full hearing. The defendant can agree to a victim’s protective order being granted. Don’t do this! There are serious consequences to having a victim’s protective order granted against you. A hearing will be held if both sides show up, and the defendant contests the petition for protective order. After hearing testimony and receiving evidence, the judge will either dismiss the petition for protective order, in which case nothing happens to the defendant, or grant the petition for protective order and issue an order of protection. Here is an example of what that looks like. Within the order protection there will be additional orders and restrictions on the defendant. I talk about that in some detail in my video and blog about the consequences of a victim’s protective order. So take a look at that.

Do not go to a full hearing alone. Get an attorney. Especially an attorney who has a lot of experience and handling these types of cases. Who would that be? Of course it would be me, Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale. I’ve been practicing for nearly two decades and have handled plenty of these cases. I’ve even gotten out right dismissals on many of them. Each case is different so not every result is the same. But even some of the toughest cases are defendable and can be dismissed, or I can get you a much better result than you would have if you are going at it alone. You need to have an attorney.