What a Restraining Order Really Means

Restraining orders, also known as protective orders, are court-mandated orders issued by judges to prevent a person from doing certain activities. Most commonly, judges issue these orders to prohibit an abuser from contacting or harming someone. What does a restraining order entail? Continue reading to learn more. 

Understanding a Restraining Order

A restraining order is a court order intended to protect you from someone who has harmed you or has threatened to hurt you. Once it’s issued, the person who poses a threat must stop harassing you, stay away from you, and can’t show up to your home or place of work. They are categorized as a civil order, and they don’t show up on someone’s criminal record. 

If you’re a victim of abuse, for example, a judge can sign an order of protection that requires the abuser to obey court orders. These orders are specific, and outline what an abuser can and can’t do, such as the following:

  • An abuser can be ordered to not have any contact with you, in person or by phone, at home, work, or almost any location you ask the judge to write down in the order. The contract can even be extended to protect your family. 
  • A judge can order the abuser to leave the house or apartment you and the abuser share, even if it’s under the abuser’s name. 
  • In most situations, the court will grant you custody of your minor children. In some states, a judge can order the abuser to pay child support and support for you. An abuser may be granted visitation rights to see the children under certain conditions. If the abuser has also threatened the children or you fear they’re at risk, let the judge know. 
  • In some states, a judge can order the abuser to pay for costs that resulted from the abuse, such as medical and dental treatment, or moving expenses. They may also have to pay household bills that are due and any earnings you have lost. Moreover, they may have to pay for your attorney fees as well as damages to other people who helped you during this difficult time. 
  • A judge may also order the abuser to attend professional domestic violence counseling or Alcoholics Anonymous. 
  • A judge can order a police officer to protect you if you need to make physical contact with the abuser. 

Restraining Order Violations

If the abuser violates any portion of the restraining order, contact the police immediately. For instance, if the abuser attempts to contact you or shows up at your house, they have violated the contract. Violations of a court mandated contract are a crime known as contempt of a court order, and a police officer will sign a criminal complaint regarding the abuser. 

Contact The Ault Firm

Victims of domestic violence often feel lonely, as if they have no place to turn to for assistance, but you’re not alone. If you need to file a restraining order, you should work with a

 attorney who will defend you in court. Contact The Ault Firm today. 

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