Frequently Asked Questions

Civil protection order

Yes. If you violate the terms of a CPO order, you can be charged with misdemeanor criminal contempt, which carries a sentence of 180 days in jail and/or $1,000 fine.

No. A person cannot own or possess a firearm during the time while the CPO order is in place.

If a Civil Protection Order is issued in DC, it can lasts for up to 2 years. The petitioner may file for an extension of the CPO prior to the expiration, but they need to prove to the judge that an extension is warranted.

If a CPO petition is filed against you, you can consent to a Civil Protection Order being granted without admitting to the allegations of the criminal offense you are accused of.

A CPO can be granted by a court when a family member, romantic partner, or current roommate has committed or threatened to commit a criminal offense against an individual. If a CPO is granted, the person accused of committing the criminal offense must stay away and not threaten, harass, or stalk the individual for a period of two years.

A Temporary Protective Order can be granted by a judge after a CPO petition is filed and at the request of the petitioner if they believe they are immediately endangered by the respondent so the petitioner is protected before the CPO trial takes place. The TPO lasts 14 days and typically places restrictions on respondent like staying away and having no contact with the petitioner.

An Anti-Stalking Order, often referred to as a restraining order, can be granted when a person stalked another person with at least one occasion of the course of conduct occurring within 90 days from the date of the petition. There does not need to be a known relationship between the parties like there needs to be for Civil Protection Orders.

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