Restraining Orders: 5 Questions and Answers

restraining orderNo one ever wants to file a restraining order, but, unfortunately, we live in a world where that is a necessary for some people in certain situations. But before you file, there are a few things you should know.

 What is a restraining order?

A restraining order is a legal, court order that is used to protect you (or a loved one) from someone who may cause you physical harm. A restraining order is often used in domestic violence situations to keep the abuser away from his or her victim. This civil action (it is not a criminal action) prohibits the abuser from scene of your home, workplace or possibly other areas.

Can I get a restraining order?

If you’re the victim of domestic violence, you can obtain a restraining order. That restraining order can also include others in your household who might be present for or who are also victims of domestic violence, like children.

What constitutes domestic violence?

A victim of domestic violence has had one of the following acts committed against him or her:

  • Assault
  • Threats
  • Criminal sexual contact
  • Burglary
  • Criminal trespassing
  • Kidnapping
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Lewdness
  • Other illegal activities

What does the restraining order do?

When a judge grants a restraining order, it includes very specific directions on what the abuser can and can’t do. These directions can include limiting (or prohibiting) contact by phone or in person at your home, workplace or just about anywhere else you request. The order can also require the abuser to leave the home if you share it with him or her. The order might also grant you custody of minor children and require child support payments, or require the abuser to get counseling or rehabilitation.

How long does a restraining order last?

A restraining order is temporary. It will include a date at which you need to return to court. The abuser will likely also be required to return to court that day. When you file the order, the police will serve the abuser with a copy of the order. You should also keep a copy in order to give it to law enforcement if necessary.

We’re here to help. Call us today if you have questions about restraining orders.