A criminal protective order is a type of court order that is intended to protect a victim or witness of a crime from harm or intimidation by the defendant or anyone acting on their behalf. It is usually issued in criminal cases where the defendant has been charged with a crime against the victim or witness.
A criminal protective order may require the defendant to stay away from the victim or witness, their home, place of work, and any other places they are known to frequent. It may also prohibit the defendant from contacting the victim or witness in any way, including in person, by phone, email, or social media.
The terms of a criminal protective order can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the judge's discretion, and violating the order can result in criminal charges and penalties. The purpose of a criminal protective order is to ensure the safety and well-being of the victim or witness while the criminal case is ongoing.
In California, a criminal protective order can be obtained by following these general steps:
Report the crime to the police: Before a criminal protective order can be issued, you must first report the crime to the police and file a police report.
Notify the prosecutor: You should notify the prosecutor handling the criminal case of your desire for a protective order. The prosecutor will then file a motion for the protective order with the court.
Attend the court hearing: You will need to attend a court hearing where the judge will review your request for the protective order. It is important to bring any evidence or witnesses that support your request, such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, or photographs.
Follow up with the court: If the judge grants your request for a protective order, make sure to get a copy of the order and keep it with you at all times. You may also need to follow up with the court to make sure that the defendant has been properly served with the order and that the terms of the order are being enforced.
It is important to note that the process for obtaining a criminal protective order can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the jurisdiction where the crime occurred. You may want to consult with a qualified attorney or victim advocate for assistance in navigating the process
In California, a criminal protective order can be issued in cases where the defendant has been charged with certain types of criminal offenses, including:
Domestic violence: This includes crimes such as domestic battery, corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant, and stalking.
Sexual assault: This includes crimes such as rape, sexual battery, and lewd acts with a minor.
Child abuse: This includes crimes such as child endangerment, child abuse, and child neglect.
Elder abuse: This includes crimes such as elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.
Human trafficking: This includes crimes such as labor trafficking, sex trafficking, and pimping.
Gang-related offenses: This includes crimes committed as part of a gang or in furtherance of gang activity.
It is important to note that not all criminal charges automatically qualify for a criminal protective order. The decision to issue a protective order is up to the judge's discretion and is based on a variety of factors, including the nature of the offense, the relationship between the victim and defendant, and any evidence of harm or threats of harm to the victim or witness.
The duration of a criminal protective order in California can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the discretion of the judge. Generally, a criminal protective order can last for the duration of the criminal case, which may include the pretrial, trial, and sentencing phases.
In cases where the defendant is convicted, the protective order may be extended beyond the end of the criminal case. For example, a protective order may be in effect for the length of the defendant's probation or parole period, or for a longer period of time if the judge determines that it is necessary to ensure the safety of the victim or witness.
In cases where the defendant is acquitted or the charges are dismissed, the protective order will generally be terminated. However, if the victim or witness still feels at risk, they may request a civil restraining order for additional protection.
It is important to note that violating a criminal protective order can result in criminal charges and penalties, even if the order has expired or been terminated. Therefore, it is important to follow the terms of the protective order until it has been legally terminated or modified by the court.