Protective Order / Restraining Order

In a domestic violence or stalking situation, a court can issue an order that requires a person to cease certain behaviors and prohibits that person from contacting the person who requested the order. Restraining orders are issued to protect the victim from domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault.

Requesting a Restraining Order

If you believe you are in need of protection from an abuser or someone who has threatened to harm you, you can contact an attorney for assistance in requesting a restraining order.

You may request a restraining order if you or your child has been:

  • subject to domestic violence by a present or former family or household member; or
  • the victim of stalking or sexual assault

When you file for a restraining order, the judge might grant you a temporary restraining order (i.e., an ex parte order) that is effective as soon as the judge signs it, and remains in effect until the court schedules a hearing on the matter.

At the hearing, you and your abuser have the right to be present. Both sides can explain their side to the judge. To ensure that your request for an order is granted, you should have an attorney represent you at this hearing. The judge may grant or deny your request for a restraining order and set the length and conditions of the order.

Once a restraining order is in place, a violation of the order is a misdemeanor criminal offense, and the abuser can be arrested for violating the terms and conditions of the restraining order.

You should carry a copy of the restraining order with you at all times. If your abuser violates the order, it will be easier for a police officer to verify the terms of the restraining order, understand your situation, and arrest your abuser for violating the order.

If Someone Files a Restraining Order Against You

If you are the subject of a restraining order, you must understand that it is a serious matter that deserves your attention. However, you do have important rights. You are entitled to be notified of any ex parte order issued and the request for a hearing on the full order, and have the right to appear in court and present your defense as to why the restraining order should not be granted or, if it is granted, be limited.

Once a restraining order has been issued, you can be charged with a crime if you violate the terms of the restraining order.

If someone requests a restraining order against you, the court may grant a temporary restraining order until the case can be heard by a judge. Follow the order, and avoid having contact with the person who requested the order, even if you have a valid defense. You should also contact an attorney to mount your defense against the order.

In the meantime, you should gather evidence concerning any events that the order references, which might include: documents; letters; emails; phone records; computer or GPS records; or any other evidence that might demonstrate where you were during or present context to the alleged incidents. You should also make a list of potential witnesses, including people who may have information about the alleged incident, and know about your relationship with the person requesting the restraining order.

Semita Legalis: Professional Guidance for Your Legal Journey

If you are in need of a restraining order or someone has requested a restraining against you and you need to defend yourself, Semita Legalis can help.

Semita Legalis and lead attorney David Breon guide our clients to a brighter future by providing clear, helpful legal counsel, committed advocacy, and fair rates.

Contact Semita Legalis today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case.