Facing a Restraining Order? Know How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You
Restraining orders are court orders that prevent a person from contacting another or visiting particular locations. In New Jersey, getting a temporary restraining order (TRO) is easy since it’s based on the petitioner’s request. A judge will schedule a more detailed hearing to determine if the order must be made final. This gives your New Jersey restraining order defense lawyer enough time to challenge the issuance of the order.
A restraining order won’t appear on your criminal record; however, violating it can lead to a criminal offense, which will haunt you down the road. So, if you have been issued this order, you must hire an attorney as soon as possible, so a final order won’t be imposed.
What to Expect if a Final Order is Imposed?
A restraining order can be imposed without you knowing it. Unfortunately, this can have long-term consequences beyond the inability to get in touch with the person who requested the order. With a restraining order, you will need to leave your house or apartment, avoid contact with your kids even through technology, surrender your weapons, and avoid attending any gathering where the petitioner is present. And while you need to leave your residence, you still have to continue to pay your mortgage, child support, rent, and other necessary expenses.
How Your Attorney May Defend You
A skilled criminal defense lawyer will challenge the other party’s petition to finalize a TRO. Finalizing a temporary restraining order requires the petitioner to present evidence that abuse or harassment occurred on a prior occasion. Also, they should establish a history, such as giving arrest reports or evidence of 911 calls. The last element they must establish is the reasonableness of the petitioner’s fear for their safety.
An experienced attorney has the necessary knowledge and resources to mount an effective strategy by contesting the evidence that supports these elements. Often, eyewitness testimony plays a major role and your lawyer can challenge their credibility and present their own witnesses.
If you have been issued a TRO, remember that violating it is a fourth-degree criminal offense in the state that can lead to jail time and monetary fines. Due to the restrictions that a final restraining order can include, you may violate it inadvertently. Thus, you need to retain a reputable attorney early in the process to advocate against the final order’s imposition. You can depend on your attorney for answers to questions you may have regarding a restraining order served to you.