A restraining order is a protective order with which a person may request protection from a family member or household member whom a victim considers abusive or dangerous.
A restraining order can be obtained based on one of the following:
- The victim claims you attempted to or did cause him or her physical harm.
- The victim claims you placed him or her in fear of imminent physical harm.
- The victim claims you caused him or her to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threats, or under duress.
A family member or household member is defined as:
- Two people who are or were married to each other
- Two people who are or were living together in the same household
- Two people who are or were related to each other by blood or marriage
- Two people who have a child in common regardless of whether they were married or lived together
- Two people who are or were in a substantive dating relationship or are engaged to be married
A harassment prevention order is a protective order that allows a victim to obtain legal protection from a specific person who does not meet the criteria for a family member or household member as required to obtain a restraining order (i.e., co-worker, neighbor, his/her significant other's ex or a complete stranger).
A harassment prevention order can be obtained based on one of the following:
- The victim claims that you committed three or more acts of willful and malicious conduct against him or her with the intent to cause fear, intimidation, abuse or property damage.
- The victim claims you forced him or her to engage in involuntary sexual relations by force, threats or under duress.
- The victim claims you committed a crime covered by the statute including criminal harassment, stalking, rape, and indecent assault and battery.
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Protective orders can be filed and issued without your presence, but you will have the ability to defend yourself at a hearing before a judge within 10 days of the order issuing. This is a make-or-break hearing: the judge will determine whether the protective order should be extended and has the power to extend it for up to one year. It is essential to have a Quincy criminal defense lawyer on your side.
If you do not show up to the hearing and the person seeking the order does, the order will almost always be extended for a year. Being represented by counsel at these types of hearings is imperative, especially when the person seeking the order is claiming you abused him/her in some way. You do not want to make any statements at the hearing that could be used against you at a later criminal proceeding.
What if the Victim Contacts Me?
Even if the victim reaches out to you, you can still be arrested on violation of a protective order if you have contact. The law leaves no room for the discretion of police officers. You will be arrested and charged with a criminal violation of the restraining order and may end up in jail. The victim can go to court at any time and ask that the restraining order be vacated. That must be done by the victim in court, or else the terms of the restraining order remain in effect.
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Please contact us online or call us at (617) 300-0212 for a free, confidential consultation with one of our attorneys. It is critical that you act quickly before your hearing date. We are responsive to most requests 24/7, but preparation in advance will be a great advantage to your case. We proudly serve Quincy, Canton, and the surrounding areas.
We offer fixed and hourly billing rates, and we accept all major credit cards.
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