Restraining Order Attorneys at O'Flaherty Law

A Restraining Order Can Protect You and Your Family

The need for a restraining order is a frightening and stressful time in anyone’s life. Whether it is a former spouse, romantic partner, or even a stranger who has taken an unusual and frightening interest in your life, you have every right to request the court to issue an order of protection for you and your loved ones.

Whether you need a local domestic violence lawyer or have an ex continuing to contact you via text, you have the right to be safe and to be left alone to live your life. Any possibility of abuse against a child is also something you want to stop. Consulting with an experienced domestic violence attorney is the best first step after contacting the police. Your immediate safety and peace of mind are important, and you should have the best help on your side, advocating for your safety and peace of mind.

If you feel threatened in any way and choose to do nothing, the consequences could potentially be severe. It is important that you get the help you need in order to protect yourself. You should speak to a local domestic violence attorney as soon as possible to assess your options and keep yourself and your loved ones safe. The last thing you should do is wait to see if the situation improves; you need to act quickly. The entire team at O’Flaherty Law is ready to help you get the legal protection you and your family deserve.

O'Flaherty Restraining Order Attorneys - What We Can Offer

Remote Consultation

Covid-19 shouldn’t put your legal needs on hold. You can receive a consultation and most legal services without leaving your home. Our attorneys are happy to speak to you by phone, video conference, or e-mail.

Family Law

When you are trying to deal with a family law issue or are considering adding a member to your family, it is essential that you have an experienced family law attorney on your side to guide you through the process.

Criminal Law

Being arrested and charged with a crime can be scary and confusing. It’s crucial to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. We are here to defend your rights and see that the court and prosecution are just and fair.

Guardianship

Caring for another life is a significant responsibility that comes with many challenges. Don’t get bogged down in the legal side of guardianship. We can help you navigate the courts and file the correct paperwork so you can focus on what’s important.

Appeals

Filing an appeal requires a special set of skills and an understanding of state and federal deadlines. Don’t leave your appeal to just any lawyer. The appeals process is complex and not kind to the person filing the appeal.

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Our Domestic Violence Lawyers Will Help You Get a Restraining Order

Once you have contacted O’Flaherty Law, we will schedule a time to have a consultation with you to discuss your situation and if we should work together. You will talk about your situation with one of our experienced and local domestic violence attorneys. Once we decide to work together, your attorney will file the appropriate paperwork required to get you an order of protection. Your attorney will also work to extend the protection for an appropriate amount of time so that you have continued protection. If necessary, your O’Flaherty Law attorney will be available to you to get the protective order extended or renewed, depending on what your jurisdiction requires.

Attorney Consultation

The purpose of a consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good first for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. We take your legal matters very seriously, which is why with each consultation, we strive to ensure you feel confident about the future of your case.

  • Specialist Family Law Attorney
  • Sympathetic yet effective counsel
  • Putting the best interests of you and your children first!
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How to Choose the Right Attorney for Your Order of Protection

Getting an order for protection is not something you want to waste time on. Many jurisdictions offer legal self-help websites, and people are tempted to do their own paperwork for a protective order. This approach can backfire for someone trying to represent themselves. Often, a petition will be denied because it lacks the appropriate and relevant facts or was improperly filed with the court. Other times the hearing for a more permanent order arrives, the person asking for protection fails to present their case properly, and the request for protection is denied. You should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as you think you need a restraining order.

How to Get a Restraining Order

A petition must be filed with the court to get a restraining order. The court will often issue a temporary order ex parte in the interests of safety, but it can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some states require a sworn affidavit in addition to the petition. Your O’Flaherty lawyer will be able to help you with the affidavit if one is required.

Once the petition is prepared, your O’Flaherty Law attorney will also submit a proposed restraining order for the court to sign if the court decides you should receive a more permanent order for protection. The important thing to remember is to tell your attorney everything, so there are no surprises when the hearing date arrives. Furthermore, you need to be completely honest with your attorney. If it is found that you have deliberately misrepresented the situation, the court could punish you.

How to File a Restraining Order

The best way to file a restraining order is to have your attorney do it. An attorney handling your legal filings saves you time and money and will get you the best possible result. Another important fact is that you should not wait to see if the situation improves. As soon as you believe that you or a family member are in danger from someone, you need to ask for protection. Another reason you can file for a restraining order is for harassment, which is not necessarily a physical threat. It is important to note that you cannot get a restraining order for one incident of harassment. You must show a course of conduct carried out over a period of time.

When Child Support Needs to be Modified Due to a Change in Circumstances

When the party who pays child support experiences a change in circumstances child support will need to be recalculated and a modification ordered. The reasons for modification are typically that the party paying the support has received an increase in income either from their employment or sometimes after receiving an inheritance. On the other side of the coin, if the party paying child support is fired or experiences a decrease in income, they will also need to request a child support modification from the court or be in danger of accumulating child support arrears, which can be very difficult to recover from financially and comes with many potential penalties. Child support payments must be made in the same amount until the modification order is entered.

Order of Protection vs. Restraining Order vs. No Contact Order

The title mainly varies from state to state, but it boils down to the same thing: the court ordering someone to stay away from you and not contact you.

Order of Protection-a court order signed by a judge ordering someone to stop harassing or abusing you. This order can also extend to your children.

Restraining Order-a court order signed by a judge ordering someone to stop harassing you, to stop abusing you, to move out of any shared home, to refrain from contacting you, including through a third party, and to stay a certain distance from you at all times.

No Contact Order-a court order signed by a judge that orders a person to refrain from any contact with you. That means they cannot have face-to-face contact with you, and they cannot text, call or email you. They are not allowed to contact you in any form.

Restraining Order Requirements

The specific requirements vary from state to state in small ways, but generally, you request that the court grant a protective order if someone is threatening you, abusing you, or harassing you. It can be ordered against someone who has already hurt you physically or someone who threatens to hurt you. Many states require that you file an affidavit with your petition for a restraining order. An affidavit is a sworn statement, and it is important that the statements you make in your affidavit be 100% accurate to the best of your knowledge. The penalties for lying to the court can be severe.

As far as what the court will consider when a party asks for a protective order is evidence of threatening, harassing, or violent conduct by the person who is named in the petition. You must have some type of evidence to support your claim that you are being harassed or threatened. A police report, emails, voicemails, or text messages can also be introduced to prove your case to the court. It can also be beneficial to have people who have witnessed certain behavior and are willing to testify under oath at the hearing if necessary. It can be more challenging to get the protective order if you do not have proof other than your testimony.

Types of Restraining Orders

Ex parte aka emergency order-granted immediately without a hearing, but a hearing date is set for something more long-term. It is also referred to as a temporary restraining order that is only in effect until the court has a hearing on the petition for a restraining order.

Restraining order-also known as an Order of Protection, is the more permanent type of restraining order. It varies by jurisdiction, but these orders can extend for roughly four years if the court decides the party requesting protection needs it for that long. Your O’Flaherty Law attorney can tell you what your jurisdiction typically grants during your consultation.

Order of protection-another term for a restraining order, See above.

No Contact order-a slightly modified order of protection. It orders a person to refrain from contacting you directly, through various forms of electronic communication, or other people.


Frequently Asked Questions About Restraining Orders

How does a restraining order work?

A restraining order is issued by a judge that tells a person not to do something or to do something. A good example would be an order that directs a party not to contact a named party and to stay at least 1000 feet away from that same party. Once the order is granted, it goes for a specified period of time. During the time frame given in the order, the party cannot come near you or contact you. If the party named in the order violates the order, you can call the police and let them know there is a restraining order on that person. The penalties for violation will vary, but ultimately if the violation is severe enough, they will be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

How long does an order of protection last?

It depends on the facts and circumstances of your situation. A court can order it go for as long as the situation requires it based on what the jurisdiction's laws allow or order that you have to come back to court to renew it periodically. Depending on where you are located, your O’Flaherty Law attorney can advise you as to the typical period of time the court grants restraining orders.

How to get an order of protection dismissed?

Either the person who asked for it asks for it to be dismissed, the time the restraining order is active is over, or BOTH parties communicate clearly to the court that they wish to resume contact with one another amicably. It would be almost impossible to get a restraining order against YOU dismissed without some substantial reason backed up with evidence.

What happens if you violate an order of protection?

The penalties for violating a protective order vary depending on the type of order violated and how the order was violated. Your jurisdiction has its own set of civil and criminal penalties for violation. Your O’Flaherty Law attorney can go over those penalties with you and what to do if the person named in the order is violating the order. If someone has an order of protection against you, your best course of action is to follow the terms of the order to the letter and avoid any further contact.

Is a Protection From Abuse Order (PFA) the same as a restraining order?

The judge will review the facts and circumstances of the petition and, if warranted, order the named party to stop abusing the petitioner. Generally, yes, protection from abuse order is the same as a restraining order. The difference is that protection from abuse order is a term used in certain jurisdictions; abuse has typically occurred rather than just being threatened.

Can you fight an unfair protection order?

Yes, you can fight an unfair protection order. You will be given an opportunity to attend the hearing for a restraining order and to present any evidence you have in your possession that shows you have not been harassing or threatening the person who is asking for protection. You can also have an attorney to advise and represent you. Suppose you receive notice that a petition for a protective order has been filed against you, and you feel it is unfair. In that case, you should consult with an attorney immediately to see that your rights are properly represented at the hearing.

What if you lie to get a restraining order?

If you lie on any document submitted to the court or lie to a court during a hearing, you have committed perjury and will be subject to at least a substantial fine and possible jail time. Everything you say or submit to the court in writing must be 100% true to the best of your knowledge.

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