Can A Victim Get a Criminal Protective Order Lifted?
A Criminal Protective Order (CPO) may be issued at the request of law enforcement to protect a person deemed to be at risk as the result of a criminal investigation. A CPO is an order designed to protect victims and witnesses of a crime from being harassed, stalked, threatened or otherwise intimidated by a defendant. The person for which protection is sought is called the “protected person” and the defendant is called the “restrained person.”
A CPO is made on behalf of the People of the State of California, usually through the prosecutor assigned to a criminal case. In order for a protective order to be granted, the district attorney’s office must show the court the defendant has:
- Physically harmed a victim or witness;
- Made threats against the victim or witness (and sometimes immediate family members); or
- Pressured a victim or witness not to testify in court.
A CPO may be issued by the judge after the defendant is arrested, charged or found guilty of certain crimes and there is good cause requiring protection of the victim or witness.
What Kinds of Criminal Protective Orders are Available?
There are two general types of CPO’s. A “No Contact” order may require a defendant to stay away from and have no contact with a protected person.
Alternatively, a CPO may permit contact between a defendant and the protected person, but only if that contact is peaceful in every way. These are called “Peaceful Contact” orders. A judge has the discretion to modify a CPO in many other ways in order to address specific issues in a particular case.
A Criminal Protective Order supersedes any other type of restraining order. For example, a CPO takes priority over a restraining order as the primary order that must be obeyed.
If the defendant violates the protection order, a new charge can be filed and the defendant is subject to re-arrest.
Can a Criminal Protective Order Be Changed?
Either the protected person or the restrained person can request that the requirements in the Criminal Protective Order be changed. A party can request that the level of protection be increased or decreased.
You may ask the judge to change the CPO by filling out a form called a “Petition for Modification of a Criminal Protective Order.”
On this form, you will be asked which conditions of the protective order you wish to modify. Conditions include but are not limited to the following:
- No personal, telephonic, written, or electronically communicated contact with the protected person (including either party’s child if the child is named as a protected person);
- No contact with the protected person through a third party (except an attorney of record); and
- Not coming within a certain distance of the protected person.
Can a Victim Get a Criminal Protective Order Lifted?
If you are the victim named in a protective order or if you are the parent or guardian of a victim named in a protective order, you may request the court modify an existing protective order by removing some or all of its conditions. This is a complicated process, so it is in your best interest to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you are a victim attempting to have a CPO modified or terminated.
A petition to modify or terminate terms of a protective order should state the reasons that support your request. You must agree that you freely and voluntarily make the request to modify the protective order. You will also be asked whether you have discussed your decision to request modification of the order with a victim specialist, who is a government official who provides support for victims. Finally, you must sign your petition under penalty of perjury.
You must file your petition with the clerk of the court that ordered the Protective Order. The clerk will set a court hearing at least 10 days away at which you and the defendant must appear. The clerk’s office will send a notice of hearing to the defendant and other parties.
It is important that both the protected person and the restrained person understand that the filing of this petition does not change the terms of the order on file. The defendant must stay in compliance with the conditions of the protective order until otherwise notified.
At the time of the hearing, a judge will make the determination as to the requested modification. The judge may grant, partially grant, or deny modification of a CPO.
Contact Wallin & Klarich Today to Modify or Terminate a Criminal Protective Order
If you or someone you love is interested in getting the terms of a protective order modified or terminated, you should consult with an experienced protective order attorney at Wallin & Klarich today. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully handling cases involving criminal protective orders and restraining orders.
Wallin & Klarich has offices conveniently located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL (877-466-5245) for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.