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Does an EPO/DVO Go On My Criminal Record?

Posted on February 6, 2010 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY

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 mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

86 thoughts on “Does an EPO/DVO Go On My Criminal Record?

  • mbouldin says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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.

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  • Michael Bouldin says:

    Thanks for the kind words.

  • Sarah says:

    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 says:

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

  • Tonya says:

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

  • Michael Bouldin says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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.

  • joe says:

    EPOs. DVOS. Are absolutely stupid. As you can see by the many many pots. They are constantly being used as a wepon. I’m sure someone who isn’t afraid the hurt or kill a person and do jail time for it won’t stop and say well, I don’t mind going to prison for murder , but I don’t want to go for violating this order. Women use these as a control tool. MOST of the time they are right back with the guy who really did nothing more but argue and yell with her , and they are trying to get it removed. EPOS do not save lives they ruin them. Anyone can get one all you have to do is lie a little. You don’t have to see a judge and the other party does not get a chance to even defend their self. There just unjustly charged and that’s stuck with them for life!

  • Michael Bouldin says:

    I completely understand and they are often used as you state. The intent is certainly noble, to save those that cannot protect themselves. I would advocate for a system like Ohio where you at least have to go in front of a judge, swear, and allow the judge to question what brought you there for an EPO. The current written application for EPO is a fertile ground for inaccuracies, overstatements and lies.

  • joyt02 says:

    I kicked my live in boyfriend out of the house two days ago because of his drinking and pot smoking, he got verbally abusive when he drinks, but he also started allowing his friends in here who were of very low character(drug and alcohol users). I had told him prior many times for him to stop being verbally abusive to me and for him not to bring his pot into the house OR his friends to whom he was also allowing to stay! He continued doing these things, the landlord was informed of these matters and I was told he and who ever else he had staying here had to go!! I kicked them all out! He can back yesterday had been drinking, I told him he couldn’t come in and he forced the door open and he became very verbally mean, I kept telling him to leave or I would call the police he still didn’t go back out the door until I called loudly for my friend who was here to call 911 he then quickly left calling me names! I’m the one who pays rent, but he would get my money orders to the landlord when I either wasn’t here or asleep from my purse and fill them out in HIS name and send them off without me knowing until I went to get them and they were gone, he then would say he had already did it! Can I get an EPO on him to keep him from coming to my house starting trouble with me and making threats to me and if so where do I need to go to obtain one? I don’t want him near me!

  • Michael Bouldin says:

    You can get an EPO only if he commits act of violence or threatens you with death or bodily harm. If he has threatened you, go to the local county clerk’s office (courthouse) and ask where to file for EPO.
    If he has not done these things, take precautions such as: (1) Make sure he is not on the lease. (2) Call the police immediately if he returns. Tell them that you have had problems in the past and do not agree to him at your home. They will make him leave and charge for trespassing. (3) Do not give him access to any money, credit cards, or accounts.
    Best wishes, call my office if you have other questions or concerns or want to schedule a consultation.

  • If you have a EPO-DVO taken out against you in ky, but you work in Indiana . Can you lose your job because of the offense? How can I work. I need to work. What can I do to be able to work.

  • Michael Bouldin says:

    You should not lose your job… unless you are required to carry a firearm as part of your employment. If so, contact an attorney for advice. An EPO/DVO is not a criminal offense. An EPO is granted based solely on the word of one party and without the opportunity of the defendant/accused to defend themselves. An EPO is granted for a short period of time until a hearing can be held. If probable cause, a DVO can be granted. Again, that is not a criminal offense and should not result in any disciplinary action from an employer.

  • anonymous2 says:

    Hello Mr. Michael. I had an e.p.o filed against me two and a half years ago so its expired by now, (it was a compleate misundertanding) by the other party. But now its affecting me in a big way cuz they tell me its still showing on my record. I’ve never been in trouble with the law for anything so my question is, is there something I could do to errase it??

  • Michael Bouldin says:

    Lobby your state legislature. Since they are not criminal, there is no expungement statute. Explain to any potential employer that it is a civil case that has been dismissed. . . Unless you want to be my test case and we can file a motion to seal the record and try to backhand an expungement. Don’t know what I’d charge nor the likelihood of success, but it may be worth a shot. Something needs to be done about this!

  • shane says:

    Hello me and my wife got into an altercation she put an epo out it was dismissed I understand that it stay on ur record if it dismissed and I have nothing else on my record why can’t I buy guns

  • Michael Bouldin says:

    You should be able to purchase a gun if the case was dismissed. It is not a “criminal” case and if the EPO was dismissed, AND a DVO was not entered, then it is simply a past charge and while it does show up, there is nothing that should prevent you from buying a gun. Contact Ky State police if you continue to have problems. It does typically take 2-4 weeks to remove you from the system.

  • Carl Taylor says:

    I had a dvo filed against me, can I petition the courts to amend the dvo, or is it completely up to my ex gf?

  • Michael Bouldin says:

    You can petition but generally courts unwilling to amend unless the victim agrees or files the petition. If no violations and request to amend makes sense, the courts will listen to argument and may amend.

  • Robert says:

    My soon to be ex wife filed an DVO against me and it was granted on 1/7/2015 and I did not know that I only had 30 days to appeal it. There was no violence and never has been and do not understand how she got it! Maybe because she had a lawyer and I didn’t. But now she has put in a order to amend the DVO and I have court on 3/18/2015. After this can I now have the chance to appeal the DVO all together on this date or after it? I would love to get it removed since there was no reason for it to began with and I also am having a hard time with employment! Thanks in advance!

  • Michael Bouldin says:

    Not likely to have original Order reversed or to appeal the original order. You can have it amended/dismissed at this time. If it is modified to be more restrictive, you might have the right to appeal the amendment. Ideally your attorney will speak to you ex-wife’s attorney before the hearing.

  • Rose says:

    I filed an EPO on my husband (wrong decision on my part), but dismissed it in court. It never went to DVO. Will this show up on an employer background check for him?

  • Michael Bouldin says:

    It depends. If an employer checks at the courthouse, it will appear. Although not a criminal charge, it generally shows up as a case when doing a criminal background check.

  • Anthony says:

    About 4 years ago I was arrested for dvo and resisting arrest and p.i but I served 30 days in jail and compiled with b.i.p classes but my question is could it be possible that my dvo charge got amended down to criminal trespassing I’m really sure myself because if I remember clearly I think that’s what I was told but I’m not certain

  • Michael Bouldin says:

    It is possible. You can run a criminal background check online or you can simply review the file through the District Clerk’s office. It can also be found by an attorney online with county and name.

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