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What is the difference between a civli protective order and a criminal protective order?

A criminal protective order is issued in conjunction with a criminal charge and most often as a condition of the defendant’s bond obligation. A civil protective order can be issued entirely independently of a criminal investigation and for grounds that may not rise to the level of criminal conduct.

Civil Protective Orders:

Civil protective orders are governed by Louisiana Revised Statutes, Title 46, Chapters 28 & 28-a, c & d; specifically: §§2131, et seq., 2151, et seq., 2171, et seq., and 2181, et seq. 

A civil protective order can be filed on behalf of the petitioner alone, the petitioner’s minor children, alone, or both. 

A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) shall issue pending a hearing on the permanent order if the petitioner shows an immediate and present danger of abuse in the petition.

Criminal Protective Orders:

Criminal protective orders are governed by Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 313, known as “Gwen’s Law.”

In any case in which a defendant is accused of using force or violence against a household member or dating partner (as defined in the statute), the court is required to hold a contradictory hearing before setting bail to determine the conditions of bail and whether the defendant should be held without bail.

If the court determines that the defendant poses a threat or danger to the victim, the court shall order that the defendant refrain from going near the victim’s home, school, or place of employment, and shall refrain from having any contact with the victim whatsoever.

These conditions will remain in place (unless modified) while the defendant is on bail (i.e.: until the criminal case has concluded).

If you or someone you know is dealing with a civil or criminal protective order and has questions, please call our office at (318) 459-9111.