St. Joseph Michigan Criminal Defense Blog

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Personal Protection Order

How to File for a Personal Protection Order

Personal Protection Order

Filing for a personal protection order is an important step in keeping yourself safe and in creating a trail of documentable evidence that you have been attempting to limit contact with a specific individual. PPOs do more than establish a legal basis in preventing contact, they help build a timeline that can be later used in criminal or civil proceedings. A PPO protects you, the petitioner, from abuse, stalking, and other unwanted contact from an individual you name, the respondent.

If you’re attempting to acquire a PPO, here’s what you need to do:

Speak with an Attorney

There’s more than one type of PPO. Nondomestic relationship PPOs restrain anyone who is engaged in stalking, cyberstalking, or threatening you (or has been convicted of sexual assault against you). A relationship does not need to exist. If you’re in a relationship with the respondent, a domestic relationship PPO is required. A defense attorney in Michigan can help you to better understand which PPO is best for your particular case. There are special rules that need to be understood; for example, an unemancipated minor under 18 cannot file a PPO against his or her parent, but special procedures do exist to protect children in such a situation. Your attorney will be a big help in navigating the rules and process.

Paperwork

There are specific forms that must be completed and a procedure to be followed when filing a PPO. In emergency situations, an ex parte PPO can be filed that takes effect immediately but will be revisited later. In non-emergencies, a hearing must be convened before the PPO becomes active. You must correctly fill out and submit all of the necessary paperwork to make your PPO filing valid; a defense attorney can assist you with the mechanics of getting the forms done right and submitting them to the correct parties.

Hearing

Once the paperwork is completed, it’s time to file. PPOs are usually filed with the family division of your circuit court. Once the forms have been submitted, you’ll need to take the petition and order to a judge and serve the respondent with notification regarding the PPO. Next will be a hearing to determine whether the PPO will take effect. As a side note, it’s important to alert law enforcement and other people in your life that a PPO has been filed. You should dial 911 immediately if the person named in your PPO violates it, both for the court record and for your own safety. For more information or questions about personal protection order please inquire via www.attorneypeterjohnson.com or contact us at 269.982.1100.

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Crime Victims’ Rights Act

Insurance Companies Increasingly Seeking Victim Restitution

Crime Victims’ Rights Act

According to the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, criminal defendants can be made responsible for financial harm caused to their victims in the commission of the crime convicted. This responsibility is known as “restitution;” if your car is stolen and then damaged in the ensuing joyride, the car thief is responsible for the repair costs in the form of victim’s restitution. What many defendants do not realize, however, is that the term “victim” isn’t limited to individuals, but can also apply to insurance companies that pay out claims as a result of a defendant’s actions.

In the aforementioned example, an insurance company might pick up the tab on car repairs as part of the victim’s policy. However, it would be within that insurance company’s rights to push for victim’s restitution — the defendant would be on the hook for paying back the insurance company for its expenditures honoring the victim’s policy. Insurers are taking increasing advantage of this option thanks to advances in technology and increased attention from state regulators. Some have been critical of insurance companies seeking restitution, claiming they’re “double-dipping” by accepting premium payments from clients while demanding restitution from those convicted of a crime.

If you’re facing prosecution for a crime that has the potential for restitution, it’s important to work with a reputable criminal attorney in Michigan such as the professionals at Peter J. Johnson Law Office, whom understand the restitution process and the parties to which you may be responsible. Restitution can place a significant financial burden on those convicted of crimes; a criminal attorney is a critical ally in ensuring your case reaches a fair conclusion.

Restitution law is complex and court decisions continually make it more convoluted and set new precedents. Insurance companies may seek civil judgments in addition to criminal judgments from which costs can quickly add up. Thus, it is of utmost importance to protect oneself with a competent criminal attorney. For more information or inquiries about restitution please visit www.attorneypeterjohnson.com or contact us at 269.982.1100.

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