ANN ARBOR, MI - 05/05/2018 (PRESS RELEASE JET)
What is a Personal Protection Order?
Most people know personal protection orders (PPO) by their more informal name of restraining order. A personal protection order is a legal order by a judge preventing a person from contacting another person.
There are two types of PPOs, either domestic PPOs or non-domestic PPOs. A domestic PPO involves two people who have a domestic relationship, such as dating, child in common, married, etc. A non-domestic PPO simply involves two people who have no domestic connection.
The standard for obtaining a PPO is slightly different for whether the PPO is domestic or non-domestic.
What Kinds of Actions Could Warrant a Personal Protection Order?
Most of the actions leading to a PPO boil down to unconsented contact. A person has told another person to stop contacting them and the contact continues despite the request.
In addition to this, other behaviors include threats, intimidation, stalking, and assaults.
An assault could be the sole basis for a domestic PPO.
Civil or Criminal?
A personal protection order may feel like a criminal matter but it’s really a civil law issue. The alleged underlying issues that lead to the PPO hearing are sometimes a criminal issue as well. As it is a civil matter, the petitioner (person applying for PPO) must reach their burden of proof by a showing by a preponderance of the evidence. This contrasts with a criminal trial, where the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt.
Challenging Personal Protection Orders
There are several reasons why a person would challenge the issuance of a PPO against them
First, a PPO is public and could be revealed in a background search. Many people don’t want this.
Second, the challenge to the PPO would be an important tool to the criminal defense lawyer where the PPO accompanies a criminal charge. A challenge enables your lawyer to hold a mini-trial regarding the criminal charge in advance of the real trial. This make the PPO challenge an invaluable discovery tool.
For example, often an alleged domestic assault incident could lead to both the filing of a PPO request and a criminal charge for domestic assault. In this situation, you could challenge the PPO hearing to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your criminal case.
Third, a PPO violation could have serious consequences. A violation of a personal protection order can result in 93 days in jail.
Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a criminal defense and family law attorney in Washtenaw County. He regularly challenges personal protection orders. Sam Bernstein can be reached at 734.883.9584 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. ArborYpsi Law is located at 206 N. Huron St., Ypsilanti, MI 48197 and can be found online at http://arborypsilaw.com.
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