Getting a restraining order is one of the most frightening things that you can go through. It can affect your life in many frustrating ways, including how you live and interact with your family members. You may find that your social life is restricted and that you can no longer visit places that you love. Despite these negative consequences, there are steps you can take to defend yourself against a restraining order.
First, you should understand what an order of protection actually is and what it entails. Most people think of restraining orders as a form of harassment or abuse, but they are actually a legal tool used by courts to keep people safe from physical assault and other forms of violence.
A restraining order can last for weeks, months, years or permanently. These orders protect the person who petitioned for the order from harm and often require them to pay support, quit using a shared dwelling or vehicle, turn over any firearms they have and more.
You must be aware that if you violate an order of protection, you can be arrested and charged with criminal contempt. This can lead to a criminal record, jail time and additional restrictions on your life.
In some cases, you can fight a restraining order by filing a motion to have it modified or dismissed. This is a process that can take some time, but an experienced defense attorney can help you navigate it.
The best thing you can do is to hire a competent defense lawyer as soon as possible after receiving the restraining order. This will ensure that you do not face any unnecessary penalties for violating the restraining order and that your case is handled correctly in court.
Next, you should meet with your lawyer and learn about what you need to do to prepare for a hearing in front of the judge. You will need to gather any evidence you have about the allegations against you, and make a list of witnesses who can testify about them.
You should also be prepared to give evidence about your own behavior and your own actions. If you are able to provide evidence that you have done nothing wrong, then the judge can dismiss your order of protection.
If you are not able to provide enough evidence, then the judge can ask you to come back for a second hearing and present more evidence. A good attorney will be able to help you present the best case possible and make sure that any evidence you have is sufficient.
Your response to the restraining order will be a significant factor in the outcome of your case, so you need to be prepared. You should read the restraining order carefully and ensure that you have all of your documentation ready to show the judge at your hearing.
Be sure to stay calm and respectful of the judge at all times. Avoid making any personal attacks on the accuser or other people.