What happens at a CPO hearingSo what happens at a civil protection order hearing?  Well first thing, you should show up on time at 8:30am in either courtroom 113 or 114(it will tell you on the notice you received). Remember the lines to get into the courthouse maybe long, so arrive early. If you do not appear in court and/or ask for a continuance in writing, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and a CPO may be entered against you in your absence

What Happens Prior to the Case Being Called?

Prior to the hearing, an attorney negotiator will meet with you. Ask questions if you do not understand, but remember that the attorney negotiator is not your lawyer and cannot give you legal advice


At trial, the Petitioner will present evidence to show that an intra-family offense had occurred and that you were the offender.  You are also entitled to present witnesses much like any typical trial.  However, the standard of proof in a CPO case is much lower than that of a criminal matter. In other words, is it more likely than not that you committed the acts as alleged by the Petitioner?    If the Judge finds in favor of the Petitioner, a CPO will be issued against you.  In addition to a typical stay away order, the judge may impose other conditions, such as anger management, drug/alcohol counseling, monetary awards, temporary child support/custody, etc. 




The Court has a multitude of things it can order you to do if a CPO is granted. The Court could require you to go to mental health counseling, participate in anger management, participate in the domestic violence program, need for you to relinquish all guns or weapons, order you not to use drugs/alcohol during the period of civil protection order, etc.  This is why I do not take this lightly if nothing else call us for a free consultation.   202-455-5610We are attorneys that have done civil protection orders for overly 20 years. We are very experienced in handling these types of cases.

Will a Civil Protection Order Show up on a Background Check?

A civil protection order is a civil case.  It is not like having a criminal record.    Therefore, it will not show up on a criminal back ground check.   If however, you are seeking a top secret or government clearance you may be asked about it.  It is also could show up if your potential employer is conducting checks in civil cases, such as civil judgments (e.g. defaulting on bills).  

What are some ways to resolve a CPO case

There are four ways in which a CPO can be resolved: (1) through an evidentiary hearing and the judge issues a Civil Protection Order; (2) by consent with an admission by the Respondent that the domestic violence has occurred (but who in their right mind would do that!); (3) by consent without admission that the domestic violence has occurred (sure you can take this option and DIY, but there are consequences to this and we’ll discuss this later); (4) by private agreement between the parties and the court dismiss the CPO case (usually without prejudice)