Victim Protective Order

A victim protective order (commonly referred to as a restraining order or VPO) is a court-ordered document that is intended to help protect victims of:

The VPO is an order against a specified person to refrain from any and all contact with the victim. This means no physical contact as well as no electronic, telephonic or written communication.

How Does the VPO Work?

In order to obtain a protective order, the victim must petition the court and a hearing must be held. In some cases, the judge may grant an ex parte order, which will remain in effect until the hearing can be scheduled. If it is an emergency situation and the court is closed, the victim may receive an emergency protective order from the police that will remain active until the court is open.

Although the VPO cannot physically protect someone from abuse or threatening behavior, it can seriously penalize the person who violates the terms of the order.

Penalties for VPO Violation

A first-offense protective order violation is considered a misdemeanor. The penalties include:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Up to $1,000 fine

However, if the victim was injured as a result of the violation, you may face a minimum 20 days in jail.

A second or subsequent VPO violation is considered a felony. If convicted, you could face:

  • One to three years in prison
  • Fine of up to $10,000

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