How an order for protection can affect you after a domestic violence arrest

Getting arrested on domestic violence charges can mean you will spend the night or the weekend in jail. Long-term, the charges can result in jail time and a large fine, even for a misdemeanor.

Along with these potential penalties, Minnesota law gives domestic violence accusers the right to seek an order for protection (OFP), commonly known as a restraining order. A criminal court judge can also issue a similar order called a Domestic Abuse No Contact Order (DANCO). Whether you are subject to an OFP or a DANCO, your rights could be greatly limited as long as the order is in effect.

Common contents of an OFP

Here are examples of what an OFP can do to you:

  • Force you to move out of your home
  • Make you give up your vehicle so your spouse or partner can use it
  • Stop you from seeing your children
  • Require you to pay child support or alimony
  • Order you to give up ownership or possession of firearms

In Minnesota, the law does not require the judge to hear the accused person’s side of the story before issuing an OFP that lasts up to two years. It is up to the accused to request a hearing once they have been served with the OFP order. Then the court must schedule a hearing within 10 days of receiving the request.

What to do if your accuser is seeking a restraining order

The terms of an OFP can have a profound impact on your life. If you are not represented by an attorney, you may have a hard time getting fair treatment in court. The same attorney you hired to defend you against the criminal charges can help you make your case for getting to stay in contact with your kids and other rights.