An order for protection (OFP) is a type of restraining order where one person alleges abuse or threats of abuse from a family or household member. OFPs are serious legal orders that can have significant consequences for the Respondent. Learn how to defend your rights in this situation below.
The Potential Consequences of an OFP
OFPs differ from Harassment Restraining Orders (HROs) in a significant way. While HROs can be obtained by proving harassment or stalking committed by any individual, an OFP can only be obtained by one family or household member against another for acts of physical abuse or threats of abuse. These orders are meant to prevent contact between the Petitioner and the Respondent, including the following behaviors:
- Physical contact, including being in close proximity to the Petitioner
- Any other type of communication, including phone calls, emails, texts, and more
Additionally, OFPs can decide temporary custody of minor children shared between the Petitioner and Respondent as well as order a Respondent to vacate and stay away from a marital home. While OFPs typically last two years in Minnesota, the duration of such orders can be extended under certain circumstances. The Respondent may face serious consequences for any violation of an OFP, namely a criminal charge.
To avoid any technical and unintentional violations of a restraining order, it is essential to understand the extent and limitations of the order. For example, restraining orders are unilateral, meaning they are only enforced upon the Respondent. The order may outline how the Respondent may communicate with Petitioner (if at all) but places no restrictions on the way Petitioner may communicate with Respondent. Even if the Petitioner reaches out to the Respondent and Respondent responds in a way the order prohibits, Respondent is in violation and could be arrested and criminally charged.
In such situations, it’s vital you have experienced legal representation to defend your rights. At Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A., our Minnesota defense attorneys are well-versed in this area of the law and we can ensure your rights are not violated.
If you need assistance regarding domestic assault charges or OFPs, our team is here to help.
Call Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. at (612) 444-5020 to schedule a free case evaluation.