Can the abuser have a gun?
Once you get a protective order, there may be laws that prohibit the respondent from having a gun in his/her possession. There are a few places where you can find this information:
- first, read the questions on this page to see if judges in Oklahoma have to power to remove guns as part of a temporary or final order;
- second, go to our State Gun Laws section to read about your state’s specific gun-related laws; and
- third you can read our Federal Gun Laws section to understand the federal laws that apply to all states.
You can read more about keeping an abuser from accessing guns on the National Domestic Violence and Firearms Resource Center’s website.
What should I do when I leave the courthouse?
You should review the order before you leave the courthouse. If something is wrong or missing, you might want to ask the clerk how to get it corrected. Here are some additional things that you may want to do after leaving the courthouse:
- Make several copies of the order as soon as possible.
- Keep a copy of the order with you at all times.
- Leave copies of the order at your work place, at your home, at the children’s school or daycare, in your car, with a sympathetic neighbor, and so on.
- Give a copy to the security guard or person at the front desk where you live and/or work along with a photo of the abuser.
- Give a copy of the order to anyone who is named in, and protected by, the order.
- If the court has not given you an extra copy for your local law enforcement agency, you might want to take one of your extra copies and deliver it to them.
- You may wish to consider changing your locks and your phone number.
- Be aware of your safety while leaving the courthouse. If you are concerned that the abuser may try to approach you, contact a court officer to see if you can be accompanied to your car.
You may also wish to make a safety plan. People can do a number of things to increase their safety during violent incidents, when preparing to leave an abusive relationship, and when they are at home, work, and school. Many batterers obey protection orders, but some do not and it is important to build on the things you have already been doing to keep yourself safe. Click on the following link for suggestions on Staying Safe. Advocates at local domestic violence resource centers can assist you in designing a safety plan and can provide other forms of support. For a list of domestic violence centers, see our OK Advocates and Shelters page.
I was not granted a protective order. What are my options?
If you are not granted a protective order, there are still some things you can do to stay safe. It might be a good idea to contact one of the domestic violence resource centers in your area to get help, support, and advice on how to stay safe. They can help you come up with a safety plan and help connect you with the resources you need. You will find a list of resources on our OK Advocates and Shelters page. You will also find information on safety planning on our Staying Safe page.
If you were not granted a protective order because your relationship with the abuser does not qualify as a “intimate partner or family or household member,” you may be able to seek protection through a stalking protective order or a victim protective order.
You may also be able to reapply for a protective order if a new incident of domestic violence occurs after you are denied the order.
If you believe the judge made an error of law, you can talk to someone at a domestic violence organization or a lawyer about the possibility of an appeal. Generally, appeals can be complicated and you will most likely need the help of a lawyer. For general information on appeals, go to our Filing an Appeal page.
What can I do if the abuser violates the order?
You can call the police even if you think it is a minor violation. The protective order can be violated if the abuser does not follow every provision in the order. It can be a crime and s/he can be “held in contempt of court” if the abuser knowingly violates the order in any way. If you file a petition in the court that issued the order for contempt, the judge can punish someone for being in contempt of court (disobeying a court order). You can file for this even if the police don’t make an arrest or file criminal charges.
If you do call the police, it is a good idea to write down the name of the responding officers and their badge numbers in case you want to follow up on your case. Make sure a police report is filled out, even if no arrest is made. If you have legal documentation of all violations of the order, it could help you have the order extended or modified.
If the abuser has been served with the ex parte order or the final protective order and violates the order, s/he can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and can be forced to pay a fine of up to $1,000 and/or go to jail for up to one year. If the abuser is convicted of violating the order for a second time, s/he can be found guilty of a felony and have to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 and/or be put in jail for one to three years.1 If when violating the order, the abuser causes physical injury to you or anyone else who is protected by the order, s/he can be guilty of a misdemeanor and sent to jail for anywhere from 20 days to one year and, additionally, be forced to pay a fine of up to $5,000. If this is the abuser’s second conviction for violating the order and causing physical injury s/he could be guilty of a felony and can be put in jail for one to five years and/or be forced to pay between $3,000 - $10,000. A judge or jury will decide how much time the abuser should spend in jail based on how bad the injuries s/he caused were.1
For more information about contempt, including the difference between criminal contempt and civil contempt, go to our general Domestic Violence Restraining Orders page.
1 22 O.S. § 60.6 (A)(1)&(2), (B)(1)-(3)
What if the abuser falsely files for a protective order against me?
It is against the law for anyone to file for a protective order against a spouse or ex-spouse for the purpose of harassment, intimidation, or to gain an advantage or limit the other parent’s child visitation rights in divorce or separation proceedings. The possible penalty could be that s/he could be found guilty of a misdemeanor and may be sent to jail for up to a year and/or forced to pay a fine up to $5,000.1
1 22 O.S. § 60.4(H)(1), (H)(2)
How do I change or extend the protective order?
Only a judge can modify (change) or extend a protective order. If you want to change the terms of your order, you will have to go back to the court where the order was issued, and file a motion to modify the order with the clerk of court. The abuser will then be served with a copy of the papers you file and will have the opportunity to be present at the court hearing where the judge will decide whether or not to change it.1
If you would like to extend your protective order, remember to file a motion at the court before the original order expires.
1 22 O.S. § 60.4(G)(3)
What happens if I move?
Your protective order is good everywhere in the state of Oklahoma and in all other states.1 Federal law provides what is called “Full Faith and Credit,” which means that once you have a criminal or civil protection order, it follows you wherever you go, including U.S. Territories and tribal lands.2 Different states may have different rules for enforcing out-of-state protection orders. You can find out about your new state’s policies by contacting a domestic violence program, the clerk of courts, or the prosecutor in the area you are moving to or by calling the National Center on Full Faith and Credit (1-800-903-0111 x2).
Note: For information on enforcing a military protective order (MPO) off the military installation, or enforcing a civil protection order (CPO) on a military installation, please see our Military Protective Orders page.
1 22 O.S. § 60.7
2 18 U.S.C. § 2265(a)&(b)
If I get a protection order, will it show up in an internet search?
According to federal law, which applies to all states, territories, and tribal lands, the courts are not supposed to make available publicly on the internet any information that would be likely to reveal your identity or location. This applies to all of these documents:
- the petition you file;
- the protection order, restraining order, or injunction that was issued by the court; or
- the registration of an order in a different state.1
1 18 USC § 2265(d)(3)