Every relationship has its ups and downs, and it is normal for couples to argue. But when tempers flare things can quickly get out of hand, and actions and decisions made in the heat of the moment can be life altering. Domestic violence is a very real problem that can have dire consequences – it must be taken seriously. But there are some instances when a domestic violence complaint is lodged in haste or anger, and result in legal actions that go far beyond what is appropriate for the situation. Once a protective order is put in place it can do a lot of unwarranted damage to a person’s reputation, and the stigma of a restraining order can be difficult to overcome.
Family law attorneys and the American justice system have seen a rise in the number of orders of protection that have been demanded by partners who are in the midst of a divorce. Though protection is required for those who are truly being victimized, there have been many instances of abuse claims being used vindictively as a tactic rather than in response to actual abuse. When a restraining order is sought for this purpose, the person filing is thinking in the short term, with no sense of what the long-term impact will be on the person who has been accused.
If you have had a restraining order placed on you, the impact can be immeasurable. Not only will it keep you away from your home and children and have a negative effect on your standing during a divorce – it also can result in a black mark against your criminal record, affect your reputation in the community and among your friends and family, affect your career prospects and financial status, and create doubt in the minds of anybody that you may meet in the future. Even after a domestic abuse charge is dismissed and a restraining order has been lifted, the stigma will remain.
While everybody can agree that it is important to provide protection for those who are truly being victimized, because a person seeking a protective order is asked for a minimal amount of evidence to support their claim, they are open to abuse. Once an order – even one that is later struck down – is issued, it can stick with you for the rest of your life. If you believe that you have been falsely accused, or that a protection order was sought for strategic reasons, you need to take action to defend yourself. At Malamut & Associates we understand your frustration and concerns and we’re here to help. We have a record of successfully assisting clients against whom a restraining order has been issued to ensure that their rights are protected and that they get a fair trial.