Protective orders are those orders that are issued by a court that require a person to stay away from another party. Further, they may also prevent the person named in the order from buying a gun, causing harm to any other parties named in the order, entering a shared home, taking children, and more. Protective orders can be issued by both civil and criminal courts. For example, a civil court may issue a protective order when a party claims that they are a victim of domestic violence, or a criminal court may issue a protective order–typically called a restraining order in this context–in a criminal case involving violence or sexual assault.
If you have had a protective order filed against you, it is important that you understand the consequences of the order. Further, it is essential that you understand that violation of the order can carry criminal penalties.
Consequences for Violating a Protective Order in Michigan
Once a person has been served with a personal protection order (PPO) in Michigan, they can be arrested by the police without a warrant if the police have cause to believe that they have violated the stipulations of the PPO. Here’s what will happen next:
- Arraignment. You will have a chance to plead guilty or not guilty to the crime of violation of a personal protection order. Our criminal defense lawyers recommend that you call an attorney before entering a plea.
- Hearing. If you plead not guilty to the charges–which is recommended–then there will be a hearing where the judge over your case will hear the case, and decide whether or not you are guilty. Again, it is highly recommended that you seek a lawyer at this stage in the process if you have not already done so. If you are found guilty, you will be held in criminal contempt of court.
- Sentencing. If found guilty, the judge will determine what your sentence should be. Consequences might include jail time (up to 93 days) as well as a fine (of up to $500). You may also be ordered to pay restitution to the person whom the PPO was designed to protect if you caused them any damage by violating the PPO.
Further, you may face other criminal charges if your violation of the PPO includes any other criminal acts, such as trespass, assault and battery, domestic assault, sexual assault, etc.
Seek Experienced Legal Defense
If you have had a PPO issued against you as part of a criminal proceeding, or if you have been accused of and arrested for violating a PPO, you need an experienced attorney on your side who can help you to understand the consequences you are facing. At the Van Den Heuvel Law Office, our legal team has experience dealing with both the civil and the criminal side of personal protection orders, and knows how to protect you as you navigate the criminal court process.
For a free consultation with our experienced Michigan criminal defense attorneys, please call our offices today or send us a message using the contact form on our website.