Facing Restraining Order in Cleveland?

A restraining order in Ohio is called a criminal or civil protection order, and it allows or prohibits a person from doing certain things. A judge must sign the order, which outlines the terms the person must follow. Breaking the rules will lead to legal consequences.

If you have a restraining order or temporary protection order against you, it’s important to understand what you’re up against and the consequences of violating that order.


Who Can Get a Restraining Order in Ohio?

In Ohio, you can get a restraining order against:

  • A current or former spouse
  • Someone you have a child with
  • Anyone who lives or has lived in your home
  • Someone you are or have been dating

But non-family and non-household members can also put a protection order against you in certain circumstances.




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Types of Restraining Orders in Ohio

There are a few different types of restraining orders in Ohio:


Civil Protection Order (CPO)

A civil, or domestic, protection order can be issued in cases of abuse allegations. A CPO is much easier to obtain than a temporary protective order, or TPO.

With a CPO, there only needs to be a preponderance of evidence, whereas with a TPO, there must be evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Under the preponderance standard, the alleged abuse victim only needs to show that there’s a greater than 50% chance that their claim is true.

A CPO may also contain other provisions, such as:

  • Awarding temporary child custody
  • Awarding temporary support to the alleged victim
  • Evicting the alleged abuser from the home
  • Requiring both parties to seek counseling
  • Banning the possession or purchasing of a firearm

To obtain a CPO, the victim must file a petition in court. The order may be awarded after a hearing, but if the victim appears to be in “present and immediate danger,” an emergency CPO can be awarded.


Temporary Protection Order (TPO)

In cases of domestic violence, a temporary protection order (TPO) may be issued. A TPO is only effective for a short period of time and offers more limited relief.

A TPO may order you:

  • To stay away from the victim, including the victim’s home, workplace or business, or school
  • Not to commit any further acts of abuse

Unlike with a CPO, a TPO cannot contain orders for spousal support, child support, or counseling.

A TPO can be issued through a petition in court, a police officer in connection with a criminal case, or at the prosecuting attorney’s request.

Violating a TPO can result in jail time, bond revocation, or being charged with a separate crime.


Criminal Protection Order

If someone who is not a family member or household member claims abuse, a criminal protection order may be issued. A criminal protection order can only be ordered if any of the following charges are filed:

  • Aggravated stalking
  • Felonious assault
  • Aggravated menacing
  • Assault
  • Menacing
  • Menacing by stalking
  • Aggravated trespass

Children are not included in this order unless they are also victims of abuse.

How Long Do Restraining Orders Last?

Restraining orders are temporary, but depending on the type of protection order that is issued, they may last for years.

  • CPO: Up to five years from the issuing date, and may potentially be renewed for an additional five years.
  • TPO: Throughout the duration of the criminal case.
  • Criminal protection order: As long as the charge is pending.

If a CPO is ordered, you may be dealing with the restraining order’s requirements for years.


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What Happens if You Break a Restraining Order?

Once a restraining order is issued, you can be charged with a crime if the protected party claims that you violated the order. It can also cause issues with employment, housing and educational opportunities.

Violating a restraining order can have severe consequences.

  • First offense: The first violation is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. Penalties include a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • Second and subsequent violations: If you violate the order again or multiple times, the charge becomes a fifth-degree felony. Penalties include 6-12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine. If you violate the order while also committing a felony, you can be charged with a third-degree felony. Penalties include 1-5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

If you are convicted of violating a restraining order, the consequences can follow you for the rest of your life.

If you’ve been hit with a restraining order in Ohio, it’s important to contact a lawyer right away to understand the terms of the order and potentially fight it.

If someone petitions the court to issue a restraining order against you, you will have the opportunity to defend yourself in a hearing. This hearing is crucial because it’s possible that the injunction may be thrown out. If you don’t show up or present a strong defense, the judge may finalize the order.

Having an attorney represent you throughout the process will help ensure the best outcome for these hearings.

Cleveland, Ohio Domestic Violence Attorney Near You

Have you had a restraining order filed against you? If you need help navigating the complicated Ohio domestic violence laws, contact The Botnick Law Firm today for a free case evaluation. Call us now to get the help you deserve. An experienced Cleveland, Ohio restraining order lawyer can help get you through this. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.


Process step-by-step

  • 01.
    Initial Arrest

    01. Initial Arrest

    The process to charge someone that’s been accused of a crime begins with an arrest. If the police have reason to believe that someone has committed a crime, the accused can be taken into custody. Police will usually start by asking basic questions like name and address to identify a person, and then they’ll often pivot to more specific questions related to the incident. At some point during this, you should have been read your “Miranda warnings.”

  • 02.
    Reading Your Rights

    02. Reading Your Rights

    You have the right to remain silent to avoid disclosing evidence that could potentially be self-incriminating, as well as the right to an attorney to defend you in court. Those are your unwavering rights that must be recited upon taking someone into custody. Take note of when these rights are read to you, as it could be helpful information for your attorney.

  • 03.

    03. Booking

    When you’ve been taken down to the station, police will fingerprint you and get your photograph to update their records. Once this is done, you should be granted the opportunity to contact your criminal defense lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, get a loved one to book a consultation with a lawyer on your behalf. It’s important that you do NOT disclose any details about your case over the phone with your loved ones, as those calls are monitored.

  • 04.

    04. Investigation

    After you’ve made it through the booking process, the police may begin conducting their investigation with you. Depending on the situation, this might include a personal search, collecting samples, interviewing/interrogating, police lineups, etc.

  • 05.
    Court Appearance

    05. Court Appearance

    You’ll be held at the station until you can be brought before a judge. The initial court appearance will happen within 48 hours or less of the arrest. Here, the judge will review the case and decide if there’s any reason to keep you in holding or if bail can be granted. If bail is granted, you’re allowed to be released upon certain conditions.

  • 06.

    06. Hearing

    Depending on the seriousness of your allegations, you may have a preliminary hearing at which a judge can determine whether enough evidence exists to charge you with that level of crime. You’ll be able to plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” If you plead not guilty, your case will be sent to trial. You may get the opportunity to enter a plea deal. That’s something your attorney will advise you on.

  • 07.

    07. Discovery

    In the discovery stage, the case against you is made much more transparent. The prosecutor will share the evidence they have against you with your defense attorney. During this time, your attorney can make additional requests for evidence if need be. All of the evidence on the table will be considered, and your lawyer will work with you to form the best plan for your defense.

  • 08.

    08. Trial

    If a plea deal is unable to be reached, the case will enter trial. During the trial, the prosecutor begins by presenting the case to the jury. They share any evidence they have against you and have witnesses make their statements for the prosecution. This can be tough to sit through. Afterward, it’s your lawyer’s turn to take the stands and share your side of the story. Your lawyer can question the prosecutor’s witnesses and all of the evidence that was used against you. There are many different strategies that your lawyer will use to defend you during the trial.

  • 09.

    09. Sentencing

    In a best-case scenario, you will have been found not guilty by the end of the trial, and the charges against you have been dropped. If you are found guilty, the judge must determine what your sentence/penalties will be. The sentencing will happen at another hearing, usually a few weeks after your trial ends.

Ohio Felony Sentencing

Prison TIme
Maximum Fine
First Degree
3-11 years
Second Degree
2-8 years
Third Degree
9-36 or 12-60 months
Fourth Degree
6-8 months
Fifth Degree
6-12 months

Ohio Misdemeanor Sentencing

Jail Time
Maximum Fine
First Degree
Up to 180 days
Second Degree
Up to 90 days
Third Degree
Up to 60 days
Fourth Degree
Up to 30 days
Minor Misdemeanor

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a restraining order work in Ohio?

If a judge grants a restraining order (or protection order) then they are ordering the defendant to stay away from the alleged victim. This means that the defendant cannot enter the victim’s home, place of work, or any other place they frequent. If the defendant violates this order, they risk being arrested.

Does a restraining order ruin your life?

A restraining order does not have to ruin your life! There is always a chance of getting the order dismissed, and even if that is not possible, it is unlikely that it will affect future employment or housing opportunities. That being said, violating a restraining order and having that arrest on your record, is more likely to impact future opportunities.

Can a restraining order be dismissed?

There are several reasons why a restraining order in Ohio might be dismissed. If the order was granted improperly, or if the order is no longer necessary, a judge has the ability to terminate the restraining order.

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