A protective order in Oklahoma is an order issued by a court. It is designed to protect one person from another person’s actions.
Protective orders are routinely issued in domestic abuse cases and cases of stalking, harassment or other violent behavior. Protective orders seek to protect the victim.
In domestic abuse cases and in cases of high levels of marital discord, a court may issue a mutual protective order which means that both parties must refrain from contact of any sort. These orders are also known as restraining orders.
Violation of a protective order in Stillwater, Oklahoma can mean serious penalties.
Defining a Protective Order in Oklahoma
There are three basic types of protective orders in Oklahoma.
An emergency protective order is often issued in cases of emergency or during nights and weekends when courts are closed. This type of order is only good for 24 hours or until courts re-open.
An emergency ex-parte protective order is also often issued when courts are closed. It remains effective until courts re-open.
Final protective orders are issued by a court after a full hearing including testimony and other evidence. A final protective order can remain in place for years.
Protective orders prohibit contact. But they can also protect a victim from any act of physical harm or threat of harm, and other non-consensual contact and course of conduct involved in harassment and stalking. Okla. Stat. tit. 22 §§ 60.1, 60.2
What is Stalking in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma law defines stalking as the willful and malicious and repeated following of or other activity that causes the victim to feel threatened, terrorized, or frightened. It is a course of conduct involving two or more acts over a period of time.
Acts of stalking in Oklahoma can include:
- following or appearing within the victim’s sight;
- approaching or confronting the victim in any set of circumstances;
- appearing at the victim’s workplace or residence;
- entering or remaining on any property of the victim’s;
- calling the victim;
- sending mail, email, texts, or other electronic communications; or
placing an object onto or at the victim’s property.
Okla. Stat. tit. 22 § 60.1
Additional Information About Protective Orders
A protective order may generally and broadly prohibit all contact, or it may be specific. For instance, it may prescribe that the perpetrator must stay at least 500 yards away from the victim, the victim’s home, or place of work.
Often, the term “contact” is broadly interpreted. No contact means no contact of any kind, including recruiting family or friends to make contact.
Also, a protective order can require that the family pet or other animal stay within the possession, custody, and control of the victim, without contact from the person ordered to stay away. This can prevent the perpetrator from using violence toward an animal as a tool of emotional harm toward the victim.
Violation of a Protective Order Results in Penalties
The violation of a protective order occurs whenever any part of the order is compromised. An order that prohibits all contact for the duration of the order is violated if you text the victim. Also, if you are ordered to stay 500 feet from the home of the victim and you knock on the door of the house at midnight or you repeatedly call or follow the victim.
A first offense is a misdemeanor crime in Oklahoma. This is punishable by a jail term of up to a year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
Repeated violation of a protective order is a felony in Oklahoma. This crime punishable by a prison term of one to three years, a fine between $2,000 and $10,000, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 22 § 60.6
When determining the length of prison sentence, a judge or jury may consider the degree of the victim’s physical injury or impairment.
In addition, a court may order you to undergo treatment or counseling necessary to bring about the end of the behavior. In addition, the court can order treatment, counseling, and require you to wear a 24-hour GPS device.
Penalties are more severe if the violation causes injury or impairment.
A first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by jail time of 20 days to 1 year, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
A subsequent violation causing injury is a felony punishable by imprisonment from one to five years, a fine between $3,000 and $10,000, or both.
These sentences are not eligible for probation, deferred sentencing, or suspended sentencing.
If you are subject to a protective order, it is important that you fully understand the scope and duration of the order. Bring your questions and concerns to an experienced Stillwater criminal defense lawyer who can help you understand what actions are prohibited.
Free Consultation with a Stillwater OK Attorney
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