A Personal Protective Order (PPO) is a type of court order, called an injunction, that prevents an individual from behaving in certain ways that are perceived to be threatening or causing harm to another person. The action is begun when one individual, called the Petitioner, files a motion in court against another person, called the Respondent, to ask the court to order them to stop certain behaviors. Once the court issues the PPO, the police can step in at any time the person who filed the PPO feels threatened.
In Michigan, there are two types of personal protection actions, domestic and non-domestic. A domestic PPO is filed by an individual who has had an established relationship with the other party or has a child in common with them. A non-domestic PPO, also called an order against stalking, is filed by an individual against a person whose behavior seems threatening or violent, but with whom they do not have any kind of domestic relationship.
What happens when someone violates a domestic PPO?
When a peace officer receives information or reasonable cause to believe that an individual has violated a domestic PPO, they may step in to arrest them without a warrant. Some of the actions that the individual may take that violate conduct against the Petitioner as specified in a PPO may include:
- Assault, battery, molestation
- Removing minor children from a custodial parent in violation of a custody or parenting time order
- Threats to harm or kill
- Possessing a firearm
- Interference with the petitioner’s place of employment
The penalties for conviction on charges of criminal contempt of court for violating a PPO are imprisonment for not more than 93 days and a fine of not more than $500. For an individual who is under 17, there are dispositional alternatives.
In domestic violence cases, it is very important to be able to build a strong defense against criminal charges. Sometimes people make mistakes or there are misunderstandings, especially when arguments get heated. The questionable timing of accusations can also negatively influence custody decisions during divorce proceedings, leading to future disagreements. Having an aggressive legal advocate who will listen to your side of the story as you maintain your innocence is essential when you are fighting for your rights.