What Should I Do If Served with a Restraining Order?
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As our restraining order lawyer will explain to you, how you respond to a restraining order can affect the rest of your life. If you ignore or disobey any of the terms of your restraining order, you could be committing a serious criminal or civil offense. The restraining order process involves several steps and stages.
What Do I Do After Someone Obtains A Restraining Order Against Me?
Once you receive a notice that a temporary restraining order has been entered against you, read over the order extremely carefully. Make a note of any dates, times or deadlines that it mentions. A person can obtain a temporary restraining order without notice to the accused party. These will usually last about two weeks. It will also set a date for a hearing for a full restraining order that could last years.
Accused individuals do not have to be given notice of a temporary restraining order (known as an ex parte proceeding). However, you have the right and opportunity to be at a hearing for a full order and to defend yourself against the allegations. You also have the right to an attorney for the full hearing, the right to testify on your own behalf at the hearing, the right to call your own witnesses and the right to question the person accusing you under oath.
While you are waiting for your full hearing, you must obey the terms of the temporary order. If you fail to obey any order or if you try to contact the person or children listed under the order, you can be arrested and face fines or jail time. Even if you believe the accusations are false, you must follow the order. You will have the chance to argue your side at the full hearing.
If you miss your hearing, the judge will enter the full order against you by default. If you cannot or did not attend the hearing, speak to a restraining order lawyer to see options for a new hearing date.
Do I Need an Attorney for California Restraining Order Defense?
While you can file the forms and represent your case yourself, we highly suggest speaking with an attorney beforehand. We frequently see claims like this, and we can explain:
- What to include in the forms
- How to avoid further infractions
- How to best present your case at the hearing
- Who you should ask to testify on your behalf
The court will not appoint an attorney for restraining order defense. If you want to know what your rights are, simply call our office and schedule a consultation. We do not charge any fees to meet with us. Furthermore, the experience you gain can save you from potential jail time, fines and other restrictions.