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

{ 56 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

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Michael Bouldin April 21, 2014 at 8:51 am

Thanks for the kind words.

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