If you are the subject of a temporary protection order or restraining order, your situation is serious, but you still have rights under Georgia law. When someone petitions the courts to issue a restraining or protective order against you, you receive notification of a court hearing to defend yourself; you should have legal representation to protect your best interests.
A temporary restraining order is a court order that prohibits the target of the order from contacting the petitioner or coming in close proximity to him or her. Temporary restraining orders apply to relatives, domestic partners, spouses, and romantic partners. If a person needs a restraining order for an unrelated person such as a coworker, acquaintance, or anyone else, the court will likely issue a civil harassment order instead.
When the courts issue a temporary restraining order, the target of the order will receive official notification and instructions for complying. Generally, compliance means staying away from the petitioner’s person, home, car, place of employment, and other relatives. If the target of the order violates these stipulations, the petitioner can call the police and have them enforce the order or take the offender to jail.
If a spouse, romantic partner, housemate, or other relative petitions the court for such an order, he or she may suggest that a family member has participated in:
After completing the petition and submitting the necessary paperwork, a petitioner will likely need to stand before a judge to explain the situation and why it justifies a temporary restraining order. The burden of proof is therefore lower. Even if the allegations are false, it’s best for those who have received a temporary restraining order to obey the edit and talk over their options with an attorney.
Anyone who violates a restraining order faces significant legal penalties, including arrest. Regardless of whether the courts issued an order fairly, a person’s situation will become much worse if he or she violates the order. Additionally, if the offender had any involvement in any ongoing legal disputes with the petitioner, violating a temporary restraining order will significantly impact his or her standing in those matters. For example, a divorcing couple may have an ongoing dispute over child custody and visitation. If one of the parents abused the other and the abused parent filed a restraining order, the other parent could lose his or her chance of custody or visitation of the couple’s children if he or she violated a restraining order.
If the target of a temporary restraining order violates the terms of the order, the petitioner can call the police to have them enforce the order or take the offender to jail. This can lead to other legal complications later, such as criminal conviction, loss of child custody and/or visitation, loss of professional license, and more, depending on the severity of the offense.
When the courts issue a temporary restraining order, the subject of the order may not know what steps to take. First, never ignore it. Be proactive and talk to an attorney about possible options and your rights. After the courts issue a restraining order, even a temporary one, violating it is a crime and can affect your rights. For instance, the ability to possession of a firearm, child custody rights, and future criminal records may be in jeopardy. If you need help after receiving a temporary protection order, contact ChancoSchiffer P.C. today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.