Everything You Need to Know About Restraining Orders

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What is a restraining order? It’s the kind of thing you don’t know you should know until you need to know it. Unfortunately, domestic violence statistics show that many victims do not know how to protect themselves from dangerous situations until it’s too late. The due process of the law sometimes drags out criminal processes to put an abuser behind bars, when the victim of domestic violence needs to be protected from their abuser today.

This is where need to answer the questions, “What is a restraining order?” If you are asking yourself “What is a restraining order?” stand by, we are going to answer all of your questions about it below.

Frequently Asked Questions About Restraining Orders

What is a restraining order?

A restraining order gives you the right to protect yourself from anyone who has harmed you or is harassing you, or puts you in any sort of danger. A restraining order is NOT a criminal charge that will go on the subject of your restraining order’s criminal record. If your abuser broke the law in the way they treated you, they will have their day in court, but that’s a separate issue.

When you file a restraining order against someone, it prevents them from going to your home, or the place that you work, or the location where they had harassed you.

Who are restraining orders intended for?

Restraining orders are meant for victims of domestic violence. This mean that if you have been subject to domestic violence from your significant other, a roommate, a parent, the parent of your child, or any other person who puts you in harms way.

The term “domestic violence” covers any intentional act to do harm to you. This includes: harassment, threatening you, assaulting you, breaking into your home, restraining you, any sexual contact without consent, coming on your property without your permission, or stalking you.

Basically, if another person is making you feel unsafe in any manner, it’s a good idea to talk to one of your local attorneys about filing a restraining order.

How does a restraining order offer protection?

When you file a restraining order against someone, a judge will enact an “Order of Protection” that details exactly what the subject of the restraining order is and is not allowed to do.

In most cases, the person you filed a restraining order against will be banned from contacting you, whether in person, by phone, over social media, or any other method. They will most likely be restricted from going to any place that you are likely to be, such as your home or place of work. In some cases, they might also be restricted from contacting any members of your family. If you used to live with your abuser, they may be required to leave, even if the home is in their name.

If you share children with the abuser, you’ll likely be granted custody of them, and your abuser will be required to pay child support. If the nature of the domestic violence does not put the children in any danger, they may be granted visitation with them. If you have any concerns of the safety of your children, it is important to let the judge who is signing your Order of Protection know.

The best way to make sure that your restraining order is comprehensive and completely protect you and your loved ones is to find an attorney who specializes in restraining orders. When you choose a family lawyer who regularly works with these types of cases, you can let them advocate for you.

What happens to a person who gets a restraining order against them?

As we mentioned, a restraining order is not a criminal action. It will not put your abuser in jail or go on their criminal record. However, the judge might order the subject of your restraining order to take action to repair the damage they caused, or to get the help they need. They may be required to pay for medical bills, or for repairs to your property. They may need to go to anger management classes, or alcoholics anonymous, depending on the circumstances of their case.

Do you have any other questions about filing a restraining order? Please share them in the comment section below.

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