Protective orders and restraining orders are complicated matters that can have serious consequences. In domestic violence matters, what starts as a simple disagreement can turn into a criminal case that requires legal guidance.
At Sweeney & Associates, LLC, our Quincy criminal defense attorneys can help you protect your legal rights with regard to allegations of domestic violence. Contact us for advice about your case. We offer our clients a free, confidential consultation.
An experienced attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not it is in your best interest to testify, as there are benefits and risks that come with your decision. Having an attorney who can cross-examine the person seeking the order, impeach his/her credibility, and advocate on your behalf can mean the difference between the judge extending the protective order and vacating it.
A protective order is civil in nature. This means that if you have been served with a protective order, it will not show up on your criminal record or be available to the general public. However, the police, courts, and probation department all have access to a different database that does allow them to see any prior protective orders against you. Even though a protective order is a civil matter, a violation of an order can subject you to immediate arrest, criminal charges and significant penalties.
Penalties for a protective order violation may include:
At Sweeney and Associates, LLC, we respond quickly to your legal needs. We are available 24/7 because we know that life doesn't always stick to a 9-to-5 schedule. Located in Quincy, Massachusetts, our attorneys have over 20 years of combined legal experience regularly defending people in Quincy, Canton, and throughout Massachusetts.
We will advocate for you in all legal forums and assist you in all related family law matters.
Protective orders can be filed without your presence, but you will have the ability to defend yourself at a hearing with a judge or a clerk magistrate within 10 days of the filing. This is a make-or-break hearing: if the protective order stands, you might be subject to it for up to one year.
With the help of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney from our firm, you can fight for a protective order to be vacated or minimize. Defenses against domestic violence charges and protective orders may include insufficient evidence, self-defense or factual innocence. The unique circumstances of your case along with your best interests will determine the strategy we pursue in your defense.
There are two ways to get a protective order dropped or changed:
You cannot just appear before a judge whenever you want. You are entitled to a hearing 10 days after the protective order is issued. You are given the opportunity to contest the order and to get it dropped at that hearing. If you attend the hearing without an attorney, and the order is extended, you will not (in most cases) have another chance to contest it until the next extension/expiration court date, which is usually a year later. Do not take your chances and hope the order is dropped; hire an attorney who can advocate and zealously represent you at the hearing.
Every domestic violence matter is different. Contact Sweeney & Associates, LLC for advice about your unique case.