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)