Orders of Protection offer important protection to abused spouses. On the flip side, they can be misused to harass and unjustly limit the liberty of the accused. Whichever side you are on, it’s important to understand the inner workings of this serious and potentially dangerous legal tool. Learn more below.
If you are faced with a petition for an order of protection you have a tough road ahead of you. There are very serious implications associated with being a respondent in an order of protection. Your liberty and reputation are at stake.
If granted, the order of protection may prohibit you from going near certain people, property, and even pets. Additionally, you will be prohibited from possessing a firearm. A violation of the order will quickly lead to your arrest and prosecution for violating the order, and for possibly other charges.
Having successfully defended against petitions for orders of protection, we have the experience and knowledge to give you the best chance of having your case dismissed. Below, we lay out three of the most important considerations when defending an order of protection.
1. Hire an Attorney. Yes, we may be biased, but for good reason. For all practical purposes, this is a one-shot deal (there are exceptions, of course). If you lose, the order of protection will probably be in effect for two years. It will alter and limit what you can and can’t do in the real world in a very real way. If you are engaged in any sort of custody or divorce proceeding, the consequences will be even more serious.
An experienced attorney will know how to defend you properly. Success at hearing is not magic. It comes from meticulous understanding of the rules of evidence, strategic preparation, aggressive cross-examination, and persuasive argument backed by a sound foundation in legal precedent.
Remember that asking the judge for time to get an attorney is always a good idea. If your request comes on the first court date, there is a much better chance that you will be allowed a continuance to retain counsel. Better yet, show up on the first court date with an attorney and prepared for hearing.
2. Keep all Records of Correspondence Between You and the Other Party. In this day and age of text messages and social media, it is rare that the parties’ actual relationship is not well documented via electronic sources. Supplying your attorney with the text messages and facebook posts that illuminate and color the story behind the story, will give him the opportunity to present your side of story persuasively and effectively.
If necessary, your attorney can also subpoena important documents that may help your case.
3. Do Not React Emotionally In Court. Without a doubt, you may be angry at the whole situation. The other party has dragged you into court, made false allegations, and put your reputation on the line. For the sake of your success, you MUST take the high road. Your demeanor speaks volumes, and the judge will not only be listening to your words but also observing your attitude and composure. For this reason, our representation includes a comprehensive preparation session that covers of what to say, how to say it, and when not to say anything.
Like all attorneys, we cannot guarantee success, but we can guarantee that you are vigorously defended against unwanted accusations. Your greatest chance of success will always be through the representation of experienced counsel.
Also, please note that where warranted and necessary for the protection of our clients, we do not hesitate to petition the court FOR an Order of Protection.