Violation of Protective Order Can be a Crime
Video Transcribed: What’s the difference between a restraining order and a protective order in Oklahoma? I’m Tulsa attorney James Wirth, and I’m about to answer that question. Okay, so what’s a restraining order in Oklahoma? What’s a protective order in Oklahoma? Well, first off, protective order started in Oklahoma in 1982 and it allows for a different type of enforcement of a court order.
If a protective order is violated, it is a crime. It can be investigated by law enforcement, charged by the prosecutor. Normally if you violate a court order, it’s simply a violation of a court order that must be enforced through contempt. Most of the time the moment, the party that was violated against is the one responsible for filing the contempt and moving it forward.
So they’re different in that respect. But Oklahoma does have restraining orders as well. In civil cases, you can get an order restraining particular activity. And even in protective order cases, sometimes you’ll settle them by saying, you know what, we’re going to enter a mutual restraining order instead of entering a final protective order because it doesn’t have all the same repercussions, but also provides some protections.
And with a mutual restraining order, it basically says both parties have to stay away from each other, aren’t to communicate except either not at all or through specific means, if maybe they have a child together they need to talk about, but any violation of that is not a crime. It is a quasi criminal contempt that a party has to bring rather than law enforcement and the prosecutor bringing. And that’s the difference.
Another difference is that just because we call a protective order, protective order in Oklahoma doesn’t mean that’s what it’s called elsewhere. In California and other states, a protective order may be called a restraining order. And that’s why a lot of people I talk to believe that it’s called a restraining order because they see it on television and in the movies because that’s the way they do it in California. But in Oklahoma, if it’s enforceable as a violation of protective order crime, it is not a restraining order. It is a protective order. But don’t take my word for it with this general advice, get some specific advice. Call an attorney, give me a call. (918) 932-2800.