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What to Expect If You Violate a Detroit PPO

Jul 16, 2019, by Maurice Davis in Criminal Defense
Person being arrested for violating a PPO

A Personal Protection Order (PPO) is a court order that restricts what you can do and where you can go. If there is a Detroit PPO against you, it means that someone went to a judge and convinced them that you were threatening, stalking, or harming them. That person was able to make the case that you are a threat to their safety and personal liberty. When you get served with the PPO, read it carefully to determine exactly how it limits your behavior and freedom of movement, because if you violate the order, you will be subject to fines and possible jail time.

When you get accused of violating a PPO, you will likely face charges for contempt of court. These charges apply whenever a judge orders you to do something, and you refuse to do it. Fortunately, you have the opportunity to defend yourself with the help of a lawyer. If the prosecuting attorney cannot prove that you purposefully violated the PPO beyond a reasonable doubt, you may avoid criminal penalties. If you want to learn more about defending a PPO violation, call Davis Law Group today at (313) 818-3238 for a free and confidential consultation.

You May Get Charged With Contempt of Court if You Violate a PPO

There are several types of PPOs but the consequences of violating them are all the same. A judge may grant a PPO if you are a threat to someone with whom you share a domestic relationship, but also people outside of your household who you have allegedly threatened with stalking or sexual assault. Usually, the court will inform you that someone is seeking a PPO against you, and you will have the opportunity to challenge the order at a hearing. But if the victim can show that you are an immediate threat, the court may issue a temporary ex-parte order, which may be granted before you have the chance to challenge it.

The PPO takes effect once the judge has signed it, but you can only be punished for violating the order only once you have been served. When you are served with the order, read it carefully. The order will contain the following information:

  • The things you are no longer allowed to do
  • An expiration date
  • The consequences of violating the order

Once you get the order, you must obey it strictly–even if the person who requested the order gives you permission to contact them. It’s not up to the victim to decide what you can and cannot do. Your behavior is now strictly dictated by the contents of the PPO. Even if you and the person who took out the PPO have a full reconciliation, you should avoid contacting them until the PPO has expired or been withdrawn. If you get caught violating the order, with or without the victim’s approval, you may face criminal prosecution.

In some cases, a person may file a Motion and Order to Show Cause for Violating Valid Personal/Foreign Protection Order, as a result of which a judge may issue a warrant for your arrest. But usually, it’s the police who catch you in the act of violating the order. If they have reason to believe that you violated a valid PPO that you were served with, then the police can arrest you on the spot. But if you have not been served with the PPO yet, the police do not have the authority to arrest you unless you continue to defy the PPO after being made aware of it.

Within 24 hours of your arrest, you will have your arraignment, where the judge or magistrate will inform you of the charges against you. Usually the charges will be for contempt of court, unless you engaged in additional criminal behavior such as assault, trespassing, or battery. At this point you will have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. If you plead not guilty, the judge will schedule a hearing, and may order you to stay in jail until then–unless you can make bail.

There is no jury at a contempt hearing. The judge will decide the facts, issue a judgment, and if necessary hand down a sentence. Both you and the prosecutor may present evidence and cross examine witnesses. If the judge determines that there is no reasonable doubt as to whether you clearly and willfully violated the PPO, they will decide that you are guilty and may sentence you to serve up to 93 days in jail and to pay a fine of up to $500.

How a Detroit Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

When a PPO has been taken out against you, it may feel like everyone assumes that you are the bad guy. But you are not. Unless your PPO violation has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, you are innocent, and we at Davis Law Group will do everything we can to keep it that way. We will stand by your side at the PPO violation hearing and make sure that your side of the story gets heard, and ensure that the court respects your rights at every stage of the process. If you’ve been accused of violating a protection order, call us today at (313) 818-3238 for a free consultation.

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