Does Someone Have To Testify At A Victim Protective Order Hearing In Oklahoma?

Victim Protective OrderYou do not have to testify in court. However, it will greatly benefit your case in the VPO hearing to testify no matter what side you’re on.

Testifying in a VPO hearing can put you in a bad spot if you have a pending criminal case that’s related to the event for which you are having the VPO hearing. What you say in court can and will be held against you. The opposing party will likely request a court reporter. This is so that your testimony can go on record and be used against you in the criminal proceeding. If you see this happening, then you would likely choose to not testify. So, the court reporter probably will not even get there because the threat of having a court reporter can be enough to prevent a party from testifying.

If you don’t testify, then you need other ways of introducing evidence to back up your case. This must be through other witnesses. Those other witnesses must be able to introduce any pictures or other evidence. If you don’t have any witnesses and you don’t testify, then you will likely lose.

What Is The Duration Of A Victim Protective Order?

22 O.S. § 60.4 outlines the two ways a VPO’s duration can be determined. First, a VPO can be in effect for either a fixed period or up to five years unless extended, modified, vacated or rescinded upon motion by either party, or if the court approves any consent agreement entered into by the petitioner and defendant. If the defendant is incarcerated, the protective order will remain in full force and effect during the period of incarceration. The period of incarceration, in any jurisdiction, is not included in the calculation of the five-year time limitation.

Second, a protective order can also be in effect for a continuous period of time upon a specific finding by the court of one of the following:

  • the person has a history of violating the orders of any court or government or entity;
  • the person has previously been convicted of a violent felony offense;
  • the person has a previous felony conviction for stalking; or
  • a court order for a final VPO has previously been issued against the person in this state or another state.

The court may take into consideration whether the person has a history of domestic violence or a history of other violent acts. The protective order will remain in effect until modified, vacated, or rescinded upon motion by either party, or if the court approves any consent agreement entered into by the plaintiff or defendant. The court will notify the parties at the time of issuance of the protective order of the duration of the protective order.

If a motion is filed by either party to modify, extend, or vacate a protective order, a hearing will be scheduled and notice given to the parties. At the hearing, the issuing court will take any action that’s necessary under the circumstances.

If a child has been removed from the residence of a parent or custodial adult because of domestic abuse committed by the child, the parent or custodial adult may refuse the return of such child to the residence unless, upon further consideration by the court in a juvenile proceeding, it is determined that the child is no longer a threat and should be allowed to return to the residence.

Sources:

22 O.S. § 60.6
22 O.S. § 60.4

For more information on Testifying At A VPO Hearing In Oklahoma, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.