You may have heard the term restraining order used before. In Oklahoma, they are referred to as protective orders. Protective orders can be issued against intimate partners, family members involved in a divorce or child custody case, and even complete strangers. If a protective order has been issued against you, then there are some important things that you should know in order to avoid making matters worse for yourself. Depending on what type of protective order it is, you may be restricted from doing certain things and going specific places. Here’s more on protective orders and how they can impact your life.
What Is A Protective Order?
In Oklahoma, victims of domestic violence, stalking, or harassment may be able to get a protective order issued against the person that is abusing them. What this does is limits the contact that an abuser can have with the victim. If the abuser is a household member, then the order can require them to leave the home. Protective orders are not meant to punish anyone, but are rather used to prevent future violence or harassment. Still, a protective order is a serious matter than can have real consequences.
How Can It Affect Me?
Aside from the limitations placed on who you can contact, if you have a protective order issued against you, then it may also affect your ability to own a firearm. Oklahoma law says that if a protective order has been issued against you, then you cannot get a handgun license for three years. What this means is that you will not be able to legally carry a handgun during that time unless the protective order is cancelled or dismissed by the court. Federal gun laws may also affect your ability to have a firearm under certain circumstances.
Additionally, regardless of the order being dropped or not its now a public record. By itself this might not seem bad but it is. This record will follow you around and might impact your ability to get a job. Many employers do easy background checks on prospective employees and even if the order is dismissed it just doesn’t help. The only good news is that if the order is dropped or if the order runs its course and ends you might be able to get the protective order expunged but that may cost you some money.
Protective Orders and Child Custody
Another thing people don’t get about protective orders is how they impact child custody. In the event a protective order is issued against you there us a presumption that joint or sole child custody is not in the best interest of the child. This means that in a child custody case you will have the burden of proving to the court that you are not a risk to the children. Its not uncommon for one parent to file a protective order in the hopes that the order will give them an advantage in family court. Its important that in a custody case the parents do what they can to de-escalate the situation and avoid what they can to avoid orders of protection.
What Happens If I Violate The Protective Order?
While protective orders are not criminal matters, violations of them may be. So, if the protective order issued against you forbids you from contacting a certain person, and you do so anyway, then you may be brought up on criminal charges for violating the order. If it is proven that you violated the order, then you can face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A second violation of a protective order carries a possible three-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.
Oklahoma Protective Order Lawyer
Kania Law Office family law attorneys are experienced at helping Oklahoma clients with protective orders and other family matters. For more insights on how protective orders can impact you in Oklahoma, and how to deal with one, touch base with the family law lawyers at Kania Law Office by calling (918) 743-2233 or by contacting us online.