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Legal Defense Against a Restraining Order

October 10, 2017 |

restraining order defenseWhen you get threatened with a restraining order, it can be scary. Your entire life could be ruined by assertions that you have behaved in a dangerous way and it can affect everything from finding employment to a place to live. However, you have legal options when this occurs. There are a few frequently asked questions when someone feels they are going to have a restraining order filed against them that can help in the defense end of such an order.

Will I Be Notified While it is Being Filed?

When a restraining order is sought, the accused abuser is not informed until they are served. In some cases, a temporary restraining order will be issued. In other cases, a hearing will be set. A permanent restraining order will not be issued without the accused has been given an opportunity to be heard in court. Only when a restraining order is issued or the person has summoned to court will the accused be notified in order to protect the accuser.

What Happens After Being Served?

If you are served, it means a judge has granted someone protection from you after they claimed to be fearful for their safety. However, this is only valid until the hearing, where you will be able to defend yourself. In New Jersey, the hearing will happen within 10 days of the temporary restraining order being filed unless the defendant has not been notified. Once you have been served, you are required to appear in court on the day and at the time assigned.

At the hearing, you will be given the opportunity to present your case as to why the restraining order should not be granted. It is a good idea to bring a lawyer to the hearing along with any applicable witnesses. While you can cross-examine the plaintiff and witnesses yourself, a seasoned lawyer will help to not incriminate you at the hearing. Some considerations during the hearing include:

  • Staying on your best behavior. Even a small amount of anger shown can be used against you in favor of the plaintiff.
  • Remember that you are under oath and being recorded. Everything you say not only affects the current hearing but could be used against you later.
  • Avoid the plaintiff while at the courthouse. Even trying to apologize could be seen as an attempt at confrontation.
  • Dress appropriately. Showing respect for the judge and the court will help your case while dressing down will make you look less reputable.

A restraining order shows up on your criminal record so it’s important to be careful during your hearing. Contact our team today if you are facing a potential restraining order and we’ll work on your behalf without judgment.