How to Defend Against a Restraining or Stalking Order
A restraining or stalking order is a legal document that prohibits one person from contacting or approaching another person. Restraining orders or stalking are often issued in domestic violence cases, but they can also be issued in other types of cases, such as stalking or harassment cases.
If you have been served with a restraining or stalking order, it is important to understand your rights and options. You have the right to contest the order in court. If you are successful, the restraining or stalking order will be lifted.
The main difference between a stalking and restraining order is that a stalking order can be extended to protect family and household members. Violating a stalking order can also result in more severe charges than a restraining order. Generally, receiving a stalking order can be a bit more difficult since the penalties are more severe and the conduct concerns other members of the household. There are other differences that can and should be discussed with a lawyer after they learn about the specific facts of your case.
What To Do
Here are some steps you can take to defend against a restraining or stalking order:
STEP 1: Understand the Restraining or Stalking Order
Read the protection order thoroughly upon receipt. Ensure you are clear on its restrictions and stipulations.
STEP 2: Maintain Composure
Reacting emotionally can complicate matters. Stay calm and avoid any direct contact or confrontation with the petitioner.
STEP 3: Gather Evidence
Compile texts, emails, photographs, and other relevant documents that can support your stance or question the petitioner’s claims.
STEP 4: Seek Legal Representation
Secure the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
STEP 5: Attend All Court Dates
Ensure you attend all scheduled court hearings. Missing one can be detrimental to your defense.
STEP 6: Work Closely with Your Attorney
Maintain open communication with your lawyer, providing all necessary evidence and details related to your case.
STEP 7: Be Prepared for Court
Dress professionally for court and be mentally prepared to discuss your case or respond to questions. Your lawyer will ensure you are fully prepared for any hearing.
STEP 8: Adhere to the Order
Even if you disagree, follow the conditions of the restraining or stalking order. Any violations can negatively impact your defense.
STEP 9: Consider Mediation
Depending on your case’s nature, mediation or counseling might be beneficial. Discuss this possibility with your criminal defense attorney.
STEP 10: Review and Adjust
If the protection order is sustained, review the terms with your attorney to understand your future steps, including potential appeals or modifications.
How Attorneys Counter Restraining or Stalking Orders
Here are some common defense strategies that your attorney may use:
- Lack of evidence. If the person who filed the protection order cannot provide evidence to support their allegations, your attorney may argue that the protection order should be lifted.
- Self-defense. If you were acting in self-defense when you committed the alleged act of violence, your attorney may argue that the restraining or stalking order is not warranted.
- False allegations. If you believe that the restraining or stalking order was filed based on false allegations, your attorney may argue that the order should be lifted.
Your Rights, Your Defense, Your Ally in Southwell Law, LLC
Facing a protection order can be daunting. But remember, you have rights, and with the right steps, you can effectively defend against the allegations. The journey, while challenging, becomes simpler when you have the steadfast support of Southwell Law, LLC.
Ready for a defense strategy tailored to your needs? For a comprehensive legal approach, reach out to Southwell Law, LLC today.