What are the Differences between a Family Restraining Order and a Criminal Protective Order?

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Family restraining orders and criminal protection orders are created to help protect family members who are victims of abuse. Although these orders do not always stop the abuser from stalking or harming a victim, the victim can have the abuser arrested if they break the order. Both orders have the same purpose to protect the victim, but there are some subtle differences you should know.

Every state has some form of protection order; however, each state’s order protects different things. In Connecticut, the protection order is put into place when a member of your household has been arrested for hurting you. These orders are only valid until the criminal case ends and are not necessarily put into place to protect other members of your family. Protection orders can include different provisions including:

• Prohibiting the abuser from contacting the victim. This contact includes calling, texting, emailing, stalking, attacking, hitting, or disturbing the victim.
• Some protection orders allow for peaceful interaction if there are children involved.
• Abusers are sometimes ordered to stay away from their victims or at least a certain number of yards from their victim’s home, place of work, school, or transportation.
• A protection order may require the abuser to move from the home shared with the victim.
• Some states require that an abuser surrender and not purchase any firearms during the time of the protection order.
• Counseling may be required by the protection order to help ensure the abuser can maintain and to follow the restrictions placed upon them.

 

A criminal protection order can be placed over the victim of a crime if there is fear of retaliation.

 

Whereas a restraining order is put into place to last beyond the length of the criminal trial and can protect other members of your family as well. A restraining order can protect:

 

• Your spouse or former spouse
• Someone you are dating or used to date
• Your child or children’s other parent
• Your child, children, parent, or any other relatives that may be in danger
• Or, someone you live with or used to live with who may be in danger

 

Restraining orders are created to keep an abuser from hitting, kicking, biting, scratching, or threatening to do you or your family members harm.

The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution require that a protection order be enforced in the state it was created and honored in all other states and territories as well. That means if an abuser stalks a victim out of the original state the order was created, they are still in violation of the order and may be arrested.