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Violation of a Personal Protection Order

A personal protection order (PPO), also referred to as a a restraining order, in Michigan is a type of civil protection order against domestic violence, stalking or dating violence. The law provides for two types of PPOs, anti-stalking and domestic violence related. Both depend on the nature of the interpersonal relationship between the parties.

Many everyday professional and hardworking people are served personal protection orders and struggle to follow the conditions listed. In some cases, the defendant was served a PPO because the plaintiff was malicious and wanted to find a way to “get back” at the defendant. No matter the circumstances of the PPO, violation of the court order can lead to serious consequences. If the court determines you violated your PPO, they could impose a jail or prison sentence and require you to pay stiff out-of-pocket fines.

If you or someone you know has accused of violating their personal protection order, then we suggest you get in contact with an experienced PPO violation attorney.

Michigan PPO Violation Attorney in Oakland County

You may think you can fight your PPO violation alone, but it could cost you both your liberty and money. Instead of taking your chances, we highly suggest you find experienced legal representation immediately. For skilled and dedicated legal counsel for your PPO violation, contact Attorney J. Dallo at Dallo Law, P.C.. He has extensive experience defending clients accused of violating their personal protection order and can use that knowledge for your case.

Dallo Law, P.C. can stand by your side at your PPO violation hearing and advocate for your rights. Both Mr. Dallo and his legal team will ensure no stone is unturned by investigating into every aspect of the case so they can develop a defense strong enough to protect your rights. Set up your first consultation for free today by calling Dallo Law, P.C. at (248) 283-7000. Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Madison Heights, Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, Lake Orion, Novi, Auburn Hills, Rochester, Pontiac, troy, Clarkston, Sterling Heights, Eastpointe, Roseville, St. Clair Shores, Utica, Romeo, Armada, Utica and Clinton Township.

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Overview of Personal Protection Orders

A personal protection order, also referred to as an PPO, is a court order that prohibits threats or violence against the plaintiff from the defendant. The court order is enforced by law enforcement, which means disobeying one of the PPO’s conditions could result in an automatic arrest. The defendant will then be required to attend a court hearing discussing their violation. If the court determines the defendant violated their PPO, they will then be punished with a term of imprisonment and a hefty fine as a result.

The conditions for a personal protection order depends on the specific case, but most PPO court orders will prohibit the defendant from doing any of the following:

  • Entering or being near the plaintiff’s home;
  • Assaulting, attacking, beating, molesting or wounding the plaintiff;
  • Threatening the plaintiff over the phone, mail, in-person, or online;
  • Purchase or possess firearms;
  • Being within a certain distance of the plaintiff’s place of employment;
  • Being within a certain distance of the plaintiff’s children;
  • Being within a certain distance of the plaintiff’s family or friends;
  • Being within a certain distance of places the plaintiff regularly visits;
  • Have access to shared children’s records;
  • Destroying the plaintiff’s property;
  • Destroying the plaintiff’s friends or family property; and
  • Committing any additional crimes

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Types of Personal Protection Orders in Michigan

The first type of personal protection order is the domestic relationship PPOs under MCL 600.2950. The purpose of these protection orders is to prevent behavior that interferes with the petitioner’s personal liberty, or that causes a reasonable apprehension of violence if the respondent is involved in certain domestic relationships with the petitioner as defined by the statute. To have a domestic relationship with a plaintiff, they must be either:

  • A current or ex-spouse,
  • A co-parent to shared child;
  • Someone the respondent lived with or used to live with; or
  • Someone the respondent has dated romantically

Another type of PPO is the non-domestic relationship PPOs, also known as the stalking PPO under MCL 600.2950a. The purpose of these court orders is to prohibit:

  • Stalking under MCL 750.411h
  • Aggravated stalking under MCL 750.411i
  • Cyberstalking under MCL 750.411s

To receive a stalking PPO, the plaintiff must show they’ve undergone at least two incidents of harassment. Harassment in this context refers to as any contact the plaintiff wouldn’t want hat has no valid purpose and could cause them emotional harm or distress to a reasonable person. The term “reasonable person” is simply a legal standard where a person’s thoughts, actions or feelings were deemed reasonable under the circumstances they faced.

In addition, Michigan law created the non-domestic sexual assault PPOs under MCL 600.2950a(2) which is available to:

  • Victims of sexual assault
  • Victims who have received obscene material under MCL 750.142,
  • Petitioners who have been placed in reasonable apprehension of sexual assault by the respondent.

If the plaintiff is under the age of 18, then sexual assault will also include instances where the minor was given obscene material by the respondent.

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What Happens If You Violate a PPO in Michigan?

Failing to follow the conditions listed in your PPO will result in serious penalties. Depending on the circumstances, you may receive a warrant for the violation. However, in certain circumstances law enforcement may conduct a warrantless arrest if you violated your PPO. The petitioner can also claim you violated your PPO by filing a motion to show cause of the violation. In these cases, the judge will order you to appear in court at a certain date and time. Failure to show up at the court scheduled hearing will result in an automatic arrest warrant.

If you don’t plead guilty at your arraignment or first hearing, then the judge will schedule a violation hearing. At this hearing the prosecuting attorney and the defense will have a chance to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. Once the hearing is over, the judge will decide if you are guilty of criminal contempt of court for the PPO violation. To prove that contempt, the Petitioner or prosecuting attorney must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you willfully disobeyed your PPO.

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Penalties for Violating a PPO in Michigan

If the judge decides you are guilty of contempt of court due to violating your PPO, then they will decide on a sentence. The judge has the ability to send you to jail for up to 93 days as well as impose a fine of up to $500. It’s important to note that if you violated a PPO for another state, you would still face the same penalties as if the PPO was in Michigan.

Additionally, the judge can change your current personal protection order by adding more protections for the petitioner. If the violation was connected to a crime, then you could also face criminal prosecution for that as well. For example, if you violated your PPO by hitting the petitioner, then you may face both the PPO violation and assault charges.

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Warrantless Arrest for PPO Violations

Under MCL 764.15b, a law enforcement officer is authorized to make a warrantless arrest for the violation of a personal protection order (PPO) or a valid foreign protection order (FPO) if the officer has or receives positive information that another officer has reasonable cause to believe all of the following:

  • A PPO has been issued under either the domestic or nondomestic PPO statute, or is a valid FPO;
  • The individual named in the PPO is violating or has violated the order when the act is specifically prohibited in the order; and
  • The PPO states on its face that a violation of its terms subjects the individual to immediate arrest and either of the following:
    • If the individual is 17 years of age or older, to criminal contempt sanctions of imprisonment for not more than 93 days and to a fine of not more than $500; or
    • If the individual is less than 17 years of age, to the dispositional alternatives in MCL 712A.18 of the Juvenile Code.

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Show Cause Hearing for Violating Protection Order

Pursuant to PACC Code MCL 600.2950, PACC Code MCL 600.2950a, or PACC Code MCL 600.2950m, the court might conduct a show-cause hearing for violating a protection order if the hearing is requested by the petitioner pursuant to MCR 3.708(B).

If the respondent fails to appear as ordered, then a bench warrant should issue for his/her arrest. At the hearing, the court might find that the respondent violated a valid personal/foreign protection order and was advised of his/her rights. The respondent might be asked to enter a plea of guilty to the violations in the motion to show cause.

In addition to finding the respondent in violation, after the hearing the court might issue a bench warrant for the respondent’s arrest, adjourn the hearing until a later day, or dismiss the order to show cause.

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Additional Resources

Domestic Violence Survivors Handbook – Visit the official website for the Michigan Government to gain access to their Domestic Violence Survivor’s Handbook created by the Family Independence Agency. Access the handbook to understand how personal protection orders work, what they protect against, how to file for an PPO, and other information.

Michigan PPO Law – Visit the official website for the Michigan Legislature to learn more about their laws for personal protection orders. Access the site to learn what’s required to file for a domestic violence PPO, non-domestic PPO, and sexual assault PPO. Check the statutes to learn the penalties for violating one of these PPOs and possible admissible defenses for the crime.

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PPO Violation Defense Attorneys in Oakland County, MI

Have you been accused of violating your personal protection order? If so, we urge you to get in contact with Dallo Law, P.C.. Our legal team at Dallo Law, P.C. has defended many people from false PPO violation accusations and can do the same for you. We will collect necessary evidence, cross-examine witnesses, call upon experts if needed, and do whatever necessary to protect your rights and reputation. To set up your first free consultation with Dallo Law, P.C., call us now at (248) 283-7000.

Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Pontiac, Troy, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield Township, Royal Oak, Roseville, Warren, Mount Clemens and Eastpointe.

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