Does an EPO/DVO Go On My Criminal Record?

by on February 6, 2010

In Kentucky, an EPO or a DVO is technically considered a civil action. A person charged with an EPO (Emergency Protection Order) should seek legal representation as there are many criminal consequences if it becomes a permanent DVO (Domestic Violence Order).

Defendants are often confused about the process of an EPO/DVO and there are often criminal charges that are filed at the same time as the DVO. This is confusing because there are many times that there are both the civil DVO hearing as well as criminal charges of Assault 4/DVO. If there are severe injuries, there may be a more serious criminal charge of felony assault. While the DVO itself is civil in nature, the charges of Assault are undoubtedly criminal.

Ironically,even though it is considered civil, a DVO still shows on a criminal record search. Employers, court personnel and any nosy people can search your background and see if an EPO has been filed against you or if a DVO has been granted. Moreover, there is currently no provision to expunge or otherwise remove an EPO/DVO from your criminal record regardless of the allegations or result.

If someone files an EPO/DVO agaisnt you, it is imperative that you seek counsel immediately as there will be a court hearing scheduled within 14 days. In Campbell, Kenton and Boone counties, contact Michael W. Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

mbouldin August 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Generally not since you have no criminal convictions. It may cause problems if you and he both want to volunteer… hopefully the DVO has exceptions for children’s activities. If not, you may need to return to family court for modification of DVO and other orders.

mbouldin August 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Not unless the DVO is dismissed and there may be a separate order in a divorce case which can allow for a mutual restraining order. The DVO amended to no unlawful contact does allow you and the “victim” to have contact, but the DVO remains active (thereby keeping the gun prohibition in place).

Anonymous November 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Hello, i have a question. My boyfriend and I have been together over 5 years. My ex-husband had an epo filed on my boyfriend for spanking my daughter (in which I gave permission for personal reasons). My boyfriend has never been in trouble and is trying to get custody of his own child. He’s not a violent man and the epo was totally ridiculous and over the top. Is there any way he can get it lifted? If my ex-husband agrees can he have it removed and if that happens will it be gone from my boyfriends record? Or that doesn’t work what can my boyfriend do to have it removed? Thank you for your time.

mbouldin November 23, 2013 at 7:39 am

The EPO will go before court for hearing to determine if should be permanent DVO. It is not a criminal charge so technically not on his record. He should hire a criminal/family law attorney to see that the EPO does get dismissed. Call my office to further discuss or set a consultation.

Kennith April 20, 2014 at 12:18 am

Hi there, I found your web site by means of Google at the same time as looking for a related subject, your site got here up, it looks good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks. Hi there, simply was aware of your weblog thru Google, and located that it is really informative. I will appreciate if you happen to continue this in future. Lots of other people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

Michael Bouldin April 21, 2014 at 8:51 am

Thanks for the kind words.

Sarah May 18, 2014 at 10:43 pm

I got an epo on my ex a while back and we since have reconciled and are trying to make it work. He had a ccw permit prior to the epo being filed. They seized all of his firearms as well as his ccw upon serving him with the papers. We go to court soon to have the epo dropped but my question is: will he be able to get his ccw back as well as his firearms, or just the firearms?

Michael Bouldin May 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm

He should be able to get his firearms and CCW returned.

Tonya May 30, 2014 at 12:44 am

I have a domestic violence charge from 13 years ago. Will that keep me from being able to own a gun?

Michael Bouldin May 30, 2014 at 10:50 am

If it was a misdemeanor conviction, you can seek to have it expunged. If it was a DVO/EPO, it should not prevent you from owning a gun as it would have long ago expired and it is not criminal in nature.

bob June 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Will a dismissed epo that never went to court effect a government clearance background check and should you even report it on the paperwork since it only asks if you’ve been summoned or served criminal issues?

Michael Bouldin June 9, 2014 at 11:44 am

It never goes away. I believe this to be a flaw in our system. You can expunge criminal cases, and sometimes even convictions, however there is no such method to delete records of a Emergency Protection Order… regardless of the basis or if it ever went into effect. EPO and DVO are CIVIL, as such not subject to expungement. Also, you have no duty to disclose for any type of matter except if you are applying for a CCW permit. It is not criminal and it is not an summons, arrest or conviction.

Shelby S June 27, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Hello. I placed an dvo on my boyfriend in February because he assaulted me and I did see him as a threat at the time. We now are trying to get passed this and work things out but I don’t want to get him into trouble and risk violating the no contact order. I filed for a motion to lift the order went to court by myself and the judge refused to lift the order. I’m lost in what I should do to get this removed.

Michael Bouldin June 27, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Chances are the judge is trying to do for you what you are unable to do for yourself. You should go visit the Women’s Crisis Center. Do some counseling. If you still want to get back together, file another motion to lift the DV Order. Tell the judge that you have counseled with WCC and do not believe you are a victim of domestic violence. You know how to keep safe and what to do if anything ever happens again. The judge would probably reconsider… OR you could think as to WHY the judge wouldn’t lift the order and stay away from him and find new boyfriend who does not assault women. Good luck.

Jamie July 13, 2014 at 5:13 pm

If a person had a DVO which is currently expired still be able to become a foster parent? Will it show up on criminal records/background check?

Michael Bouldin July 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm

It will show up on a criminal background check although it is not a criminal offense. It should not preclude that person from becoming a foster parent. Social services will likely look into the allegations to assure that there was not violence toward a child; be prepared to answer questions.

Nannette August 21, 2014 at 11:27 am

My 19 year old son has been caring for his 11-month old daughter since May 2014, since the mother left her in my son’s care. After taking the steps to gain custody of his daughter, the child’s mother filed a EPO on my son. Falsely accusing him of abuse.

Michael Bouldin August 21, 2014 at 11:29 am

You need to hire an attorney that handles custody, juvenile and criminal cases. If he has not yet established paternity, that should be the first step. He also needs to oppose and defend the EPO and many judges will not grant a continuance so you need to hire someone soon. If in Northern Kentucky, contact my office to advise of the date and schedule consultation.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: