What Is a Restraining Order? Everything You Need to Know! Unfortunately, there may come a time when obtaining a restraining order is needed to keep you and your family safe from stalking, domestic abuse, or kidnapping. A restraining order is ordered by a court of law to protect you from further harm from an individual who has already hurt you or who is threatening to do so. A restraining order is a civil order and does not give the abuser a criminal record, but requires they obey the orders of the court.
What a Restraining Order Does Depending on the type of restraining order, there are different protection requirements and rules that must be followed by the perpetrator. The following are some of the more common consequences of being served a restraining order:
- No contact in person or by phone with you or anyone else listed on the order
- Must leave a shared residence after being escorted by the police to remove belongings
- Lose custody of children and ordered to pay child support
- Pay for costs that are due (household, medical, and court bills)
- Required to receive professional domestic violence counseling
- Anything else a judge sees fit
Restraining Order Length A permanent restraining order length varies based on its type. For example, a civil harassment restraining order is valid for 3 years while a domestic violence restraining order is valid for 5 years.
How to Get a Restraining Order If you need to know how to get a restraining order, chances are that you are fearing an unsafe situation. Take these six steps immediately:
- Make an exit plan. How will you get out of an emergency? Where can you go for safety?
- As soon as you are safe, go to your nearest county courthouse or to a family justice center and utilize the free, professional help to fill out the proper paperwork. You may need to provide evidence such as pictures of injuries, threatening emails, etc.
- Get a temporary restraining order for protection before the court hears your case.
- Serve the individual with the hearing order. If at all possible, don’t do this yourself. Either ask a law enforcement officer or a private process server to do the job.
- Attend the restraining order hearing in court and present your argument. You may hire a lawyer for help with your case.
- If you are granted the restraining order, make sure you understand it. Keep it with you at all times. Call the police immediately if the abuser violates any part of the order at any time.
Getting Help With a Restraining Order If you want legal help establishing proof of need for getting a restraining order for someone, or if you’ve been served with a restraining order that you feel is unjustified and unfair, hiring an attorney who has experience in this area of the law can be of great help to your case. Contact Bradley Corbett today for help with your restraining order!
Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.