Temporary Protective Orders

The basics

A Temporary Protective Order (TPO) applies to spouses, former spouses, children, anyone you are dating, and/or any other relative.  It does not apply to co-workers or other social relationships.  The person who applies for the TPO is called the “Applicant.”
Generally, a temporary protective order is a written order from a judge/hearing master preventing you from doing some or all of the following to the Applicant and/or minor children:

  1. Threatening or harassing the Applicant or minor children either directly or through a third party; and/or
  2. Going within a certain distance from the Applicant’s and minor children’s residence, employment, and/or school.

In addition, the hearing master can also make orders awarding:

  1. Temporary child custody to the Applicant;
  2. Temporary custody of any animal owned by the Applicant or minor children to them; and
  3. Any other emergency orders deemed necessary.

Do you have a TPO against you while you have a domestic violence charge pending?

The only requirement an Applicant needs to obtain a TPO is simply to say that he or she has been the victim of domestic violence or threatened with domestic violence.  Of course, the Applicant must write the allegations in a sworn statement, but there is absolutely no requirement that the Applicant prove any of his or her allegations.  
Additionally, the Applicant usually does not meet the hearing master before the TPO is granted—it is usually granted based on the application alone.  The Applicant does not need to give the judge photos of injuries, recording, or witness statements.  Further, there is no requirement that the hearing master listen to your side of the story before the Order is granted.

The TPO will be used against you in criminal court to prove that you are guilty of domestic violence.  Before you allow this to happen, you must consider trying to dissolve (get rid of) the TPO with the help of an experienced attorney. 

Dissolving the TPO is important to a criminal defense for several reasons.  In addition to the wealth of defenses that can be gathered from the TPO paperwork and hearing, your attorney will be able to argue to the criminal court judge that the TPO hearing master did not find you to be a threat.  This is a significant legal victory for your legal defense.

Call us now to discuss whether attempting to dissolve your TPO is the right decision for you.

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