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How do I press criminal charges and obtain a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) against my abuser?

Go to the Prosecutor's Office to press charges against the abuser and take:

  • Copies of any police reports or incident report numbers
  • Any pictures taken of the incident
  • Any information about medical treatment for abuse
  • Names and addresses of anyone who witnessed the abuse

If criminal charges are filed:

  • A Motion for Temporary Protection Order may be issued by the court. It is important to ask the court for a TPO.
  • A court hearing will be held on the next court day after the filing of a motion requesting the TPO.
  • It may be helpful to have a victim advocate at court for support during the proceedings.
  • If the abuser is not present, the abuser may receive notice of the TPO at his or her first court appearance.
  • At this hearing, the judge will decide whether the Temporary Protection Order will remain in effect. Any TPO will end at the conclusion of the criminal case or when a Civil Protection Order is issued based on the same facts.

If convicted of the crime of domestic violence, the abuser may be sentenced to jail or be placed on probation. It is important to ask for a "no contact order" to keep the abuser from contacting you after the case is over.

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