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Have you been served with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

Let’s be honest — the more life experience gained, the less one becomes enthused at the idea of surprises. It is undeniable that those treading the early stages of a legal action in family court feel uneasy with the unpredictability of the terrain.

The process behind filing an ex parte domestic violence restraining order happens at nothing less than break-neck speed. It is impressively one of the swiftest solutions that our legal system has available. Temporary or long-term, domestic violence restraining restraining orders consequently come with the potential to be the most misused and most misunderstood.

Thanks to the many avenues of information available and the tremendous social strides public policy has made over the years, help is not hard to find for domestic violence victims. In fact, there are many forums with that would quickly offer the empathy and support to help anyone recover from such a tragic and traumatic experience. So much so that, to be perfectly honest, there isn’t much sympathy left to be had for the accused on the other end.

Being on the receiving end of a domestic violence restraining order is a very nerve-wracking experience. As stated earlier, it all happens so quickly. To set the scenario, it can start with a phone call directing you to appear in court the following morning (or afternoon, whichever county you may be in). It can also start with a harmless looking stranger serving you with a packet of paperwork at your job with a heavily inked count date stamped at the top of the pile.

In comparison to the other types of legal actions filed, the steps in handling a response to a DVRO require swift and deliberate action. In a way, DVROs put your life at a screeching halt. You may be ordered to stay away from your partner or spouse. You may be ordered to stay away from your children. The orders may even dictate that you leave your home immediately. Access to any accounts, vehicles, firearms may be restricted. Despite your feelings at the moment, you can also forget about any opportunity to apologize or ask questions in the near future because chances are, your communication to the other party is also restricted pending the upcoming hearing. Furthermore, this incident may also impact your career, especially in professions with a zero tolerance policy. There may also be an order to provide financial support to the other party.

As harsh as these orders sound, it is important to note that these orders were made under an emergency basis. Prior to the approval and serving of the restraining orders, the court was presented with sufficient evidence that the accused presented an immediate danger. In a way, yes, it does seem that the receiving end starts off in the negatives, but luckily there are solutions available. If you have been served with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, here’s what you can do so that you may have your literal (and metaphoric) day in court:

  1. Take note of the orders . Calmly read through the paperwork and heed the warning on the stay away orders. A violation on any of these orders listed can result in fines or criminal penalties.
  2. More than likely, you will come across some statements that will portray you or the situation in an unfavorable light. Make note of these statements, and be prepared to respond with the intention of a complete and accurate depiction of the situation. One of the best parts of being on the defense is that you are in a position to fill in all the gaps in the storyline of the other side.
  3. Gather proof to corroborate your responses. Furnish photos and time-stamped text messages, as those are the best.
  4. Call a trusted attorney to go over the incidents described in the order. When working with your attorney, it helps to be as open and honest as possible so that they can determine the best way to help you.
  5. Compile your response, and plan to file the package before the hearing. A copy may be served to the other party at the day of the hearing.

We have successfully defended a multitude of domestic violence restraining orders. It takes preparation and advocacy – both of which we handle with professionalism and rigor. Contact us for more information HERE

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