What is the difference between an Order for Protection and a Harassment Restraining Order?
An Order for Protection (OFP) is a form of restraining order that is sought where abuse or threats of abuse are alleged. The requirements for an OFP are actual physical harm; threat of physical harm; interference with a 911 call; forced sexual contact; or any sexual contact if the person needing protection is a minor.
An OFP limits the contact between parties. Because an OFP is intended to stop domestic abuse it can only be used in cases between:
- Spouse or former spouse.
- Parents and children.
- Persons related by blood.
- Persons who are currently living together or who have lived together in the past.
- Persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.
- A man or woman, if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.
- Persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.
Whereas, with a Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) there need not be any relationship between the harasser and the victim. Minnesota Statute § 609.748 first defines harassment as a single incident of physical assault or sexual assault. Harassment can also be more than one incident of intrusive or unwanted acts, words, or gestures that have a substantial adverse effect or are intended to have a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security, or privacy of another.
Violating an OFP or an HRO can both result in a new criminal charge. Although the first violation is typically a misdemeanor level, if you have a qualified prior incident, you can be charged with a gross misdemeanor and face a mandatory minimum of 20 days in jail. If you have any questions about your situation, contact Brandt Criminal Defense at 763.421.6366 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.