Can I Get a Criminal Protective Order Lifted?
Criminal Protective Orders (CPOs) may be issued at the request of law enforcement in order to protect a person who is at-risk as the result of a criminal investigation. While these are commonly seen in domestic violence cases, they can be used in other types of criminal proceedings where the victim is at-risk for further harm, or if a witness is at-risk for harm. A CPO is designed to protect a person from stalking, threats, or the actual infliction of violence. The person who seeks protection is known as the “protected person” under the law, while the defendant is referred to as the “restrained person.”
When CPOs Are Issued
A CPO is made on behalf of New Mexico prosecutors. In order for the protective order to be granted, the district attorney must show that:
- The defendant has harmed a victim or witness;
- The defendant has made threats of harm;
- The defendant has pressured a victim or witness to not testify.
A CPO will only be issued after a judge has been presented with the evidence and the defendant has been arrested, charged, and/or found guilty. The judge must have good cause for approving the order, and the burden of proof is on the prosecution.
Types of Protective Orders Used
There are two types of protective orders issued by the courts:
- No Contact Order – This requires that a defendant stay away from a victim or witness, and have no contact with that protected person.
- Peaceful Contact – This allows the defendant to contact the protected person, but they can only engage in peaceful communications and interactions.
The judge can use his or her discretion to issue the terms of a CPO, or issue a different type of CPO entirely – this is entirely based on the circumstances of the case and reasons for the CPO being requested.
Changing the Order
The protected person or restrained person can request that the court change the CPO. Either party can request that the order’s protection be increased or decreased. But, they will need to file a petition to modify with the courts. On the form, the petitioner will be required to state what conditions he or she wants changed.
Can a Protective Order be Lifted?
If you are the victim and you are named on a protective order, or if you are the guardian of a protected child, you may request that the court’s modify and lift the existing order. You can also request that certain conditions be removed or lifted. This is, however, a complicated process.
A restrained person can request that a protective order be listed, but this is highly complex and requires the assistance of an attorney. Usually, a CPO is issued based on evidence; therefore, your attorney would need to file a petition and then prove to the courts that the reasons for issuing the original CPO are no longer valid, or weren’t valid at the time when it was issued.
Need to Have a CPO Lifted? Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a crime and a CPO has been issued against you, you may be able to petition the courts to lift that protective order. Contact our attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today at 505-375-4661, or request your consultation online.