You Can and Should Defend Yourself from a VPO With the Help of a VPO Attorney
A Victim Protective Order is used by the courts to people who were in certain relationships from being physically abused or harassed by the people they had relationships with. The standard of evidence to obtain a VPO is relatively low and many judges tend to grant them when asked since they are often seen as harmless to a non-offending person even if they didn't do it.
A VPO, however, is a serious matter that must be respected. A violation of a VPO is a criminal matter viewed extremely unfavorably by Oklahoma courts. Additionally, a VPO can make your life very uncertain: A VPO, for instance, can be unknowingly violated when if you enter the vicinity of the person being protected by the VPO without knowing that the person is nearby.
For this reason, if you find yourself involved in a domestic violence situation and your opponent has requested a hearing to get a VPO entered, you need to contact me as soon as possible.
There are no guarantees in life, but if I can help you from the very beginning, I may be able to prevent the VPO from being entered against you. Without a lawyer in this situation, you risk your case being treated like any other case and having a VPO granted against you out of an abundance of caution. With the help of skilled counsel there is a greater possibility that the court will view your situation differently and pay attention to our argument as to why a VPO should not be entered against you.
Consequences of a VPO
- A VPO appears on your criminal record
- Violation of a VPO (even a temporary one granted without a hearing) is a crime. The first time a VPO is violated is a misdemeanor carrying up to a year in the county jail. A second or subsequent VPO is a felony and can carry up to five years in state prison.
- Because a VPO shows up on your criminal record, it will also show up in background checks. This can seriously damage your employment prospects as many employers won't consider hiring people with these kinds of problems.
- If you are hoping to gain custody of any children, a VPO will also damage that possibility because family court judges are required to consider the VPO in deciding custody of children.
Expungement is the sealing of records so that the public has no access to them. After expungement of a VPO it is much harder for random people to know it ever happened so it's a good idea to get all VPO's expunged if possible. Generally, if you ever want the VPO to be expunged you must defend yourself from the VPO in the first place because if the VPO is granted there are only extremely limited avenues in which to get a VPO expunged. If, however, the victim agrees it is still possible to have the matter expunged.
Even if you have already had a VPO entered against you, or if you have violated one, I can still provide you with legal advice. We can consider how you can best comply with it or, if already violated, I can provide you with the legal defenses you will need to protect yourself and perhaps even defeat the violation charges.