Comparing Restraining Orders to Emergency Protective Orders

When someone has been accused of domestic violence, the alleged victim or the court may react by issuing a restraining order or an emergency protective order (EPO), which can also be called an emergency order of protection. While both of these orders are meant to solve the same apparent problem, they can vary slightly in how they actually affect the accused. To get a better understanding of what is going on if you have been accused of domestic violence, it helps to know the differences between a restraining order and an emergency protective order.

What is a Restraining Order?

A person can go to a courthouse or county clerk's office to request a restraining order against an individual. Restraining orders will restrict a person's movement and behavior by determining where they can go and when, the type of people they are permitted to visit with, and even whether or not they have the right to possess a firearm. Since many restraining orders are issued based on speculation – meaning it is not clear if the accused is guilty at the time – they begin as temporary restraining orders and generally expire within a few weeks at most. The only way a restraining order becomes permanent is if it is proven through court procedures that the accused did commit and will likely recommit domestic violence.

What is an Emergency Order of Protection?

As the name implies, an emergency order of protection is essentially a restraining order used in emergencies, or when the threat of domestic violence is real and present. An EPO can be granted immediately, suddenly making it illegal for the accused to get near the accuser, see their child, or sometimes even speak to them over the phone without an attorney present. Most EPOs are created by police officers responding to domestic violence calls and who have reason to believe the danger or perceived danger is authentic. Due to the fact that an emergency protective order sidesteps the criminal trial procedure and instantly penalizes the accused, they do not last long; most EPOs are valid for a day or two and will turn into a temporary restraining order if need be.

If You Were Accused of Domestic Violence

Many people rightfully consider restraining orders to be in a gray area of the law. For all the good they surely do to protect people from harm, they seem to also do injustices through intentional exploitation; there are countless cases of exaggerated or falsified claims being used against a person just to slam them with a restraining order out of spite and petty revenge. If you have been accused of committing domestic violence, you have the right to defend your name and reputation, and it is a right you must exercise.

Contact the Law Office of Frances Prizzia today by calling 888.392.8114. You can begin your case by getting a free case evaluation from our Orange County criminal defense attorney.