Restraining Orders

What is a Restraining Order?

Whenever a charge of domestic violence is alleged, one question that a suspect or alleged victim will encounter is whether a restraining order, also known as a protective order will be issued. A restraining order is a court order that can be issued on an emergency basis by police or by the court on a longer-term basis. This type of order is designed to protect the victim of domestic violence from being physically or sexually abused, threatened, stalked, or harassed by a named individual. The “protected person” on the order is the person who the order is designed to protect from violence or threats of violence. Protected persons can include a spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, family member, children, or other household members. The “restrained person” is the individual who the restraining order legally restrains from committing violence upon the protected person.

Purpose of A Restraining Order

The purpose of a restraining order is simple. It is designed generally to control and often limit the conduct of the restrained person. Some ways a restraining order limits the conduct of a restrained person is by ordering the restrained person to stop specific acts against the individuals named in the restraining order as protected persons.

Types of Orders Within a Restraining Order

The types of conduct that are limited include contacting, calling, or sending any messages, including texts, emails or Facebook messages to the restrained person, attacking, striking, or battering, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, harassing, destroying the personal property; or disturbing the peace of the protected persons. This order may be a drastic change from the ordinary state of affairs between the protected and restrained persons. For example, a couple may be used to calling, texting, and emailing each other throughout the day. A restraining order would order the retrained person to cease all of these actions.

At the Johnson Criminal Law Group, we frequently are contacted by restrained persons and even protected persons complaining that the terms of the order are too strict and that the terms seriously interfere with their every day lives. For example, a spouse may want to contact the other spouse about family or business affairs but be limited due to the terms of a protective order. The attorneys at the Johnson Criminal Law Group are experienced with dealing with these complaints and sometimes can argue to the court that a “peaceful” contact order is more appropriate, especially if the couple can have contact without the protected person feeling at fear for their safety.

A restraining order will often also include a “stay away” term. Stay away orders are designed to keep the restrained person a certain distance away from the protected person, their home, work, school or childcare, vehicle, or other places he or she frequents. A restraining order often includes a residence exclusion or “move out” order that requires the restrained person to move out from where the protected person lives. As a result, the restrained person may only take clothing and personal belongings until a subsequent court hearing.

Impact of a Restraining Order

A restraining order can seriously impact the life of the restrained person. The consequences can be life-altering. Time away from the home and loved ones can bear and emotional toll. In addition, family finances can be seriously impacted. As a result, it is important to hire an attorney in your domestic violence case to deal with both the criminal matter and the resulting restraining orders that can be issued. It is almost always better to contact an attorney early on in the matter to discuss your options. We work with clients to help them get their lives back in order and to protect their legal rights and interests.

At the Johnson Criminal Law Group, we are experienced in handling criminal domestic violence cases and the restraining orders that come with them. Contact us today for you phone consultation so we can discuss your case.

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