Restraining Order Attorney
If someone is a victim of abuse in Massachusettes or Rhode Island, there are a variety of steps available for them to take in order to protect themselves and their children. They may go to a family court and file for a restraining order, which gives them legal protection from their abuser and imposes serious restrictions on places where the abuser is able to go, contact that the alleged abuser is able to make, and more.
Unfortunately, these orders can be filed against people who do not deserve to have a restraining order issued against them. In many cases, someone may use these protective orders as “punishment” for any number of reasons, and the orders can, in turn, cause chaos for the victim of this unlawful filing. Additionally, the proof that an alleged victim may submit to have an order approved could be exaggerated or misrepresented. As the accused, it is important that your entire story is heard before a final decision is made.
If you have been served with a restraining order in Massachusetts or Rhode Island and believe that it has been wrongfully approved by the courts, you deserve to have your story heard and a strong legal defense mounted to protect you from the serious impacts. Working with an experienced restraining order attorney can help to increase the chances that your request to have the order vacated be granted. Contact Brett V. Beaubien, Esquire to schedule your initial consultation today, and learn more about how to fight an improper order below.
Who is Eligible For a Legitimate Restraining Order?
It is important to understand who is legally able to seek protection with a restraining order so that you can determine where your situation falls in terms of these guidelines. Again, if you believe that you have had a restraining order wrongfully filed against you, then you need to contact an attorney immediately so that they can defend you against this situation.
In many cases, people choose to file a restraining order against a defendant during the course of a domestic violence trial. However, criminal charges do not have to be filed for a restraining order to be granted. Though, it is important to note that the “burden of proof” is on the petitioner to prove that abuse has occurred and there is a need for the order. We will need to work to deconstruct the “proof” that they have submitted so we can illustrate that it is erroneous or overstated.
The people who are eligible for restraining orders in Massachusetts or Rhode Island are as follows:
- Current spouse of (or ex-spouse) an abusive person
- Living with or lived with the abuser in the past
- Co-parent of the same child
- Someone that you are seriously dating or within an engagement relationship with
- Child (under 18) who has been sexually exploited or physically abused
A restraining order is typically used for domestic situations. However, there are other types of protective orders that can be filed by people with no relation to you. Contact a knowledgeable restraining order defense attorney to discuss your case so that they can explore the nature of the relationship that you have with the filer, as well as the proof that they have submitted as a reason for needing this protection.
What Does a Restraining Order Do?
The specific details of your case will dictate what parameters are set for a restraining order, but the common restrictions are as follows:
- Order you (the respondent) to refrain from contact with the person who filed (the petitioner)
- Require you to stay away from the petitioner’s home and/or job
- Specify an exact distance that you must stay away from the filer
- Order you to pay child support for the duration of the restraining order
- Require you to surrender any firearms you possess.
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last For?
If approved, there is no set time-frame for restraining orders. A court can order a temporary restraining order or it could last for an indefinite period of time. The judge will make their determination based on the evidence provided during the initial hearing. In Massachusetts, an emergency restraining order can last ten days, wherein Rhode Island, a temporary restraining order has a duration of 21 days. These can be extended or made permanent in both states. Furthermore, an order can be eventually discharged by the court by request of the petitioner or prosecutor (if a criminal case).
We will work to make sure that every detail from your side of the story is considered as the courts are determining either a length of time for the order to last, or whether or not to vacate the order entirely.
How To Fight a Restraining Order
The most important thing to do in order to fight against a restraining order is to remain calm and work through the proper legal channels. We understand that emotions can run high during this time, but there is nothing that will complicate our case more than if you make attempts to reach out to the individual who filed, show up where you are not allowed to, or violate any other restrictions on the temporary order that you were served with.
Contact us as soon as possible to begin working with an experienced restraining order attorney to mount a clear and comprehensive case as to why the order should be removed, the terms reduced, or any other number of changes that you believe should be considered.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Fight a Restraining Order?
In short, no. You do not need a restraining order attorney. However, working with an experienced lawyer can help to increase the likelihood that the request for the restraining order to be reconsidered. Providing the court with proof that you have been wrongfully served with an order, or that the issues behind the order are misrepresented, is very important during this process.
It is the responsibility of the petitioner to provide the court with an ample amount of proof that they are in danger. We will need to go through all evidence in a way that makes the entire situation clear so that the judge can make an informed decision based on the testimony of both parties. Successfully following these steps can be difficult and stress-inducing. Fortunately, you do not have to go through this process alone. If you need help navigating the complicated process of contesting a restraining order or need representation in your initial hearing, contact Brett V. Beaubien Esquire to schedule your initial consultation today.