How to Get a Restraining Order

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What Is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a court order that prohibits one person from contacting another. Often times, the order will restrict one person from coming within a certain distance from the other (such as 100 ft.). Other orders prohibit any contact or communication between the parties at all (i.e. no phone calls, no e-mails, etc).

Restraining orders are often issued in connection with cases involving domestic violence, abuse, or sexual crimes. They may also be issued in cases of stalking or harassment.

How Do I Obtain a Restraining Order?

Restraining orders can generally be obtained in two ways:

When requesting a restraining order, there needs to be basic proof that one party was victimized by the other. Conduct that results in a restraining order may include harassment, stalking, physical violence, mental and emotional abuse, and assault or battery. More serious crimes such as rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping can also result in a restraining order. These types of accusations must be supported by proper evidence, which may include physical evidence, witness testimony, and written statements.

Some restraining orders can be obtained without the other party (the offender) being present. These are known as ex parte orders and are often provisionary orders that are changed later into more lasting orders.

If the defendant violates the restraing order, they can be charged with contempt of court or face another kind of punishment.

Can a Restraining Order Be Modified?

This depends on the type of restraining order. Most of the times, modifications of a restraining order involve changing a temporary order into a more permanent one. For instance, a temporary restraining order may be issued at the beginning of a trial in order to help protect the victim while the trial is still being adjudicated. Once the trial is complete, the judge may issue a permanent order if they find the defendant guilty of the crime in questions.

In other cases, a restraining order can sometimes be loosened or even lifted if the defendant has demonstrated their rehabilitation and/or completion of various reform requirements (such as parole or probation). Any type of modification of a restraining order, however, must go through the court system and be approved by a judge.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Restraining Orders?

Obtaining a restraining order can be a very complex legal process. It generally requires the assistance and guidance of a qualified lawyer. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you need help filing for a restraining order or for help modifying one. Your attorney can provide you with advice on how the process works, and can also help ensure that you are protected during the entire process.

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Last Modified: 09-30-2016 07:29 AM PDT

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