Understanding Restraining Orders

If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is important to be aware of your legal options to protect yourself and your loved ones. An experienced family attorney at Claery & Hammond, LLP can assess your situation and help you determine the type of restraining order that best suits your needs. Although pursuing legal action against a family member can be overwhelming, it is important to take the steps necessary to protect yourself and your children from further harm.

There are four main types of restraining orders that can be used to protect victims of domestic violence:

  • Emergency Protective Orders (EPO): EPOs are restraining orders that law enforcement officers can seek by calling a judge at any time of the day. Once issued, the EPO begins immediately and can last for as long as a week. The judge can order the alleged abuser to leave the residence and stay away from the victim and their children for up to 7 days, and this gives the victim enough time to file for a temporary restraining order.
  • Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO): To file for a TRO, the victim must go to the courthouse to fill out paperwork and explain to the judge what has happened and why they need a restraining order. If the judge believes a TRO is necessary, it will be issued for 20 to 25 days until the court hearing.
  • Permanent Restraining Orders: After the TRO hearing, the judge may decide to issue a permanent restraining order, which actually lasts for up to 3 years. At the end of that time, the victim can request a new restraining order so that they can remain protected.
  • Criminal Protective Orders: Also known as a stay-away order, this type of restraining order is issued by the criminal court. Domestic violence is a crime, and the district attorney may choose to file criminal charges. It is common for the criminal court judge to issue a protective order against the defendant during the case and for 3 years after the case if the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty by the jury.

If you want to learn how a restraining order can help your family or if you need powerful support to assist you through the process, please do not hesitate to contact our firm. We would be proud to help you and your loved ones through this difficult time.