If you have received papers which lead you to believe that a Domestic Violence Restraining Order has been granted against you, the FIRST thing you need to do is read it carefully. Then read it again. If it is a valid order, it will have the signature of the judge and an actual ORDER by the court. Look for that. It will state what the terms of the order are.

If you violate that order, it constitutes a crime, and the police can and will arrest you. No matter what, obey the order. If it tells you to not go near someone, don’t go near them. If it tells you to not go to a certain place, don’t go there.

The next thing you need to know is when to go to court. The way these restraining orders work is someone goes to court, files it, and the court then issues a TRO (temporary restraining order) which is in effect until the court date, at which time the court will determine whether it should last anywhere from two to five years. Do not fail to appear, and do not fail to contest it and ask for time to get an attorney. Do not think by going in and telling the truth that you are going to get out of this. The court system does not work that way.

When you show up to the hearing the court will be ready to go. You will have about 15 minutes, and the court might ask you questions. Then the court is going to make a ruling. The burden of proof is very low for this. It only needs to be more likely than not that this act of domestic violence, whatever it is, happened. Courts are happy to err on the side of caution in these cases.

The repercussions are enormous. You can lose custody of your kids, lose your job, be kicked out of your house, lose your guns, and end up a on list the police can access any time. You should NEVER allow one of these be granted against you if the accusations against you are false.

It is therefore critical to not allow this to happen. Having an experienced attorney can make all the difference in the world. If you are facing on of these, hire a lawyer now.