In Ohio, Criminal and Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Orders can protect victims whose abusers are facing criminal charges for domestic violence or other violent crimes. Learn more about what criminal protection orders are and how they can help you stay safe.
A Criminal or Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order is an official document from a judge, issued during a criminal case to protect a victim. The criminal case could be for domestic violence, assault or another violent crime.
The person who gets protection is called the victim or protected party. The person who must follow the order is called the defendant.
The protection order usually tells the defendant to stop coming near you or having any contact with you.
Who can get a Criminal or Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order?
If you are a victim in a criminal case of domestic violence and you are a family or household member of the defendant, you may be able to request a Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order (DVTPO) as part of that criminal case. You can get assistance from the prosecutor's office. Some prosecutor’s offices have victim advocates that can help you request a DVTPO.
If you are a victim of an assault, stalking, a sexually oriented offense or certain other crimes, and you are NOT a family or household member of the defendant, you may be able to request a Criminal Protection Order (CRPO) as a part of that case. You can get assistance from the prosecutor's office. Some prosecutor’s offices have victim advocates that can help you request a CRPO.
If the criminal court grants the DVTPO or CRPO, it usually orders the defendant to not come near you or have any contact with you.
How are criminal protection orders enforced?
If the defendant breaks the rules of a criminal protection order, it is a “violation of the protection order” and they can be arrested or face other consequences.
If there is a violation of the protection order:
- You should call the police. The police can enforce protection orders and arrest the violator.
- The police or prosecutor can file additional criminal charges. If convicted, the defendant can face fines, probation or jail time.
How long do criminal protection orders last?
A DVTPO or CRPO ends when the criminal case ends. This means the protection stops as soon as the case is dismissed or the defendant is found not guilty, or at sentencing if the defendant pleads guilty or the defendant is convicted. A DVTPO or CRPO also ends if you get a civil protection order because of the same act of violence or threat.
Criminal protection orders and civil protection orders
If you have an active DVTPO or CRPO, filing for a civil protection order at the same time could cause problems like:
- Leaving you without a protection order. Your DVTPO or CRPO ends as soon as you get a civil protection order. If the judge grants your "ex parte" protection order, but does not grant the full civil protection order after the full hearing, then you wouldn’t have either a civil or a criminal protection order.
- Giving the defendant information and evidence. The defendant can use the civil case to get evidence against you in the criminal case, or vice versa.
If you have a DVTPO or CRPO and want a civil protection order, you should speak with a lawyer (other than the prosecutor) to understand how filing could affect your safety.
This project was supported by Grant Nos. 2019-WF-VA1-8855 and 2020-WF-VA1-8855 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice.