What do I do when I am served with a Restraining Order?

The police knock on your door and hand you a document stating that an Abuse and Prevention Order (also known as a Restraining Order) has been issued against you. You are required to follow the terms of the order and a failure to do so could result in criminal charges.

The Restraining Order may require that you not only stay away from a family member or intimate partner, but may also prevent you from being allowed to make any contact whatsoever with the individual who requested the Restraining Order. How did this happen? In order to obtain a Restraining Order, the alleged victim completed an application and an affidavit alleging that that he/she is in fear of imminent physical danger from you. A case was presented to the Judge, and the Judge agreed, issuing the temporary Restraining Order. On the document you are served, there is a hearing date and it is important that you attend that hearing. This is your opportunity to present your side to Judge. Depending on the accusations, you may need to bring witnesses and evidence to support your case. A Restraining Order can have an impact on more than just your ability to be near a certain person. It can effect custody of your children, where you can live, your ability to have firearms, your residency, your employment, as well as your reputation.

An attorney can help you decipher the orders and possibly determine the next steps you need to take. These steps can include fighting the Restraining Order or seeking to change or modify the terms of the Restraining Order. If you have been served with a restraining […]