California Criminal Protective Order

Violating a California Criminal Protective Order can have serious consequences. Contact a professional attorney from the Law Office of Chris Chaney for advice.

What Is a Criminal Protective Order?


If you’ve been involved in a serious or violent altercation with someone or witnessed a crime, you or the other party may feel compelled to petition the courts for a criminal protective order. A criminal protective order (CPO) is a court order that protects victims of crime from contact with the perpetrator.

The CPO is issued by a criminal court and can be used to protect you against someone who has been charged with, an offense against you.

Criminal Protective Order Under the California Penal Code

The California Penal Code (136.2) regulates the grant of criminal protective orders in California. It promotes the safety of crime victims and witnesses. This penal code provision is an asset to the California legal system. It gives people the courage to come forward and report crimes without fear that harm would come to them.

Under the California Penal Code, you can obtain a CPO by filing a petition in court. A law enforcement agency can enforce it without any criminal conviction.

As a result of a criminal protective order, the respondent must stay at least 100 yards away from the victim and refrain from contacting, threatening, or approaching the victim. The protective order also prohibits contact with minors who reside with the victim.

How to Get a Criminal Protective Order in California


A protective order can be obtained if a victim of abuse or stalking meets certain criteria, such as domestic abuse or stalking. A local lawyer can help you assess your situation.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, the district attorney handling your case can apply for the criminal protective order when the suspect is arraigned in court. Your attorney can also apply for one during an emergency hearing on the issue.

Criminal Protective Order Versus a Restraining Order

While the two legal concepts are similar, a criminal protective order differs from a restraining order under California law. A restraining order is an order issued by a civil court to protect someone from being harmed by another person. It is usually issued to prevent situations like domestic abuse, harassment, or stalking.

The purpose of a civil restraining order is to keep the restrained person away from you and your family members for several years.

A restraining order does not require the commission of a crime before it can be issued. The threat of abuse or violence is sufficient to ground the order.

If you’re the victim of a domestic violence case or if you feel that you need to restrain someone, you could talk to a local law enforcement officer or a restraining order attorney.

The Outcome of a Criminal Protective Order in California

If you are the victim of a crime and a CPO has been made in your favor as a protected person, then it is essential to know the implication of the order.

Basically, your criminal protective order can order the defendant to do the following:

  • Stop contacting or coming near you
  • Stay away from your home and work
  • Stay out of some geographic regions
  • Refrain from other specified activities.

The CPO may also include other conditions, such as staying away from certain people or places associated with the victim, surrendering any firearms or weapons, or wearing a GPS.

Consequences of Criminal Protective Order Violation in California


A criminal protective order aims to provide some level of security and safety for the protected person. Violating this type of court-ordered protection can lead to severe consequences, including jail time and fines.

If the restrained person violates the protective order by contacting the victim in any way, they could face an additional criminal case.

How to Remove a Criminal Protective Order in California


Having a criminal restraining order in place against you can restrict your movement and make your life difficult.

In California, either the restrained person or the protected person can have the CPO removed.

The application is usually made before the court that granted the CPO in the first place. The party making the application needs to provide evidence to support their claim.

If you have more questions concerning criminal protective orders or want to remove one, a federal criminal defense attorney might be able to help.

Get Legal Help With Your California Criminal Protective Order


If you’ve been a victim of domestic violence and you fear that your abuser might harm or kill you, a criminal protective order might be what you need to confront your abuser and ensure their justice.

In such an instance, an attorney from the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney might be able to help. We can help you file for an emergency hearing at the courthouse and apply for a protective order to keep you and your children safe.

At the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney, we believe that your life and safety come first. We have the required experience and are willing to represent you as you take the necessary steps to secure both. Contact us today and let us help you feel you feel safer.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can You Modify a California Criminal Protective Order?

You can modify a criminal protective order by filing a Petition for Modification with the court that made the original order. As part of your petition, it is necessary to include a declaration explaining why you believe your petition should be granted. You may also include any evidence that supports your case.

There are many reasons why you may want to petition for modification of a criminal protective order. It is possible that the person who was initially restrained by the original order is not the same as the person who originally petitioned for it. It may also be possible that your circumstances have changed since the original petition. However, the final decision lies with the judge.

How Long Does a Criminal Protective Order Last in California?

A criminal protective order in California can last for up to five years. The actual duration of each order varies depending on the circumstances of the case and the severity of the threat.

Contact Our Firm