Restraining orders came about as a response to Domestic Violence. Generally they are a court order to stay away from and not abuse the person who gets the Restraining Order.
When can someone apply for and possibly get a Restraining Order?
Massachusetts law allows someone who is “in imminent fear of bodily harm” to obtain a restraining order against the person that is allegedly placing them in fear.
Who can obtain a Restraining Order?
A Judge can issue a restraining order against anyone who qualifies as “family or household members”. A person is considered a family or household member in the following circumstances:
- are or were married to one another
- are or were living together in the same household
- are or were related by blood or marriage
- have a child in common
- have been dating or engaged (court looks at the following factors when qualifying: length of relationship, type of relationship, frequency of interaction during relationship and time passed since termination of relationship.
What if you get served with a Restraining Order?
If you get served with a Restraining Order, you will also be notified of a date that you may go to court and have a hearing, in front of a Judge, where you and the person that has a Restraining Order against you will have a hearing. You are allowed to have an attorney represent you.
In the meantime, abide by the Restraining Order. Although a Restraining Order is a Civil Order, any violation of it is a criminal charge. All it takes is one phone call, one drive by or one text message to be charged with a violation. The charges can pile up fast! Even if you don’t think the order is valid, and even if you think you didn’t violate it. When you get arrested for a violation, the police will hold you until the next court date (this mean if you get arrested on a Friday night you will sit in jail until Monday morning). It might not seem fair, and it probably isn’t, but do yourself a favor and wait until the court date to sort it out.
If you have been served with a Restraining Order, click here to contact me. You may also call my office at 866-981-7888 and ask to set up an appointment for a free consultation.