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How can a lawyer help with restraining order violations?

By Spodek Law Group | October 16, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 06:27 pm


How a Lawyer Can Help with Restraining Order Violations

Getting a restraining order can be a scary and overwhelming process. But once you have one, it’s so important to understand what to do if the restrained person violates it. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference.

First off, what exactly is a restraining order violation? Basically, it’s anytime the restrained person goes against what the order says. For example, if the order says they have to stay 100 feet away from you, but they come within 50 feet, that’s a violation. Or if it says no contact, but they call or text you, violation. You get the idea.

Now, I know you might be thinking, “It’s just a minor thing, not worth getting the law involved.” But hear me out. Any violation of a court order is a big deal legally. And it also shows the restrained person isn’t taking the order seriously. That means you could still be in danger. So never just let a violation slide.

How a Lawyer Can Help

If you experience a violation, having a lawyer on your team makes the process of reporting it and protecting yourself much easier. Here’s how we can help:

  • We’ll fully explain your rights and options. Dealing with the law can be confusing, but we’ll break it down into simple steps.
  • We’ll document the violation and gather evidence like texts, photos, videos, etc. Solid proof is key.
  • We’ll contact the police to file an official report about the violation. Having it on record is really important.
  • We’ll go with you to court if needed to get the restrained person charged and convicted. You don’t have to face it alone.
  • We can file a motion to get the order modified if needed. For example, adding more restrictions like surrendering firearms.
  • If you’ve been injured, we can help you get a restraining order and pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Bottom line, we make the whole legal process much less scary. You can feel confident you’ve got an expert on your side looking out for your safety and rights.

The Dangers of Ignoring Violations

It may be tempting to just let a minor or accidental violation slide. But it’s so important to take each one seriously. Here’s why:

  • It shows the restrained person they can get away with breaking the order. That makes them more likely to violate it again and again.
  • Minor violations can lead to more severe ones over time. For example, unwanted calls can escalate to showing up at your home.
  • You could be in physical danger if they are repeatedly crossing boundaries and stalking you.
  • The court takes violations very seriously. Not reporting them makes the order seem unnecessary to a judge.
  • The restrained person needs to face consequences like fines or jail time. Otherwise they won’t take the order seriously.

So don’t let any violation slide, no matter how small it seems. Report each one, and let your lawyer handle making sure there are real consequences. It’s the best way to stay safe.

How to Report a Violation

If you experience a restraining order violation, you need to report it right away. Here are the steps:

  1. Call 911 if you’re in immediate danger from the restrained person. Safety first.
  2. Write down exactly what happened, noting date, time, location, witnesses, etc. Document evidence like texts, videos, etc.
  3. Contact your lawyer, who can help you file a police report and take further legal action.
  4. Go to the courthouse to fill out violation of restraining order forms. The court needs documentation.
  5. Attend all court dates to share your experience with the judge and push for penalties.

Having an attorney guide you through these steps makes the process much less intimidating. We know exactly how to document the incident and present a solid case to the court.

Restraining Order Violation Penalties

When a restrained person violates the order, they face serious criminal penalties. These vary by state but can include:

  • Fines – Monetary fines are common, often $1000 or more.
  • Jail time – Violators may spend days to years in jail depending on severity.
  • Community service – Courts often order 100+ hours of unpaid work.
  • Counseling – Restrained people may have to attend anger management or other counseling.

If the violation involves violence, weapons, or severe harassment, the penalties go up. Subsequent violations also face harsher punishment. And a serious enough violation could lead to felony stalking charges.

But here’s the key – the court can’t impose penalties if you don’t report the violation. Letting it go unreported basically says it’s not a big deal. So make sure to speak up every single time.

Getting an Order Modified

If the restrained person violates the order, you may want to get it modified to add more protections. For example:

  • Extending the duration, like making a 6-month order into a 5-year one
  • Adding more distance, like increasing the stay-away distance
  • Restricting access to kids or pets if they’ve threatened them
  • Requiring the surrender of firearms and ammunition
  • Imposing a no-contact order for other family members

A violation shows the current order isn’t enough to protect you. So your lawyer can file a motion asking the judge for stricter restrictions. The process is very similar to the initial restraining order hearing. You’ll explain why expanded protections are needed based on the violation.

Personal Injury Claims for Victims

If a restraining order violation involves physical abuse or violence, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. For example, if the restrained person assaults and injures you, that’s a civil offense on top of the criminal charges.

A personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for:

  • Medical bills from injury treatment
  • Counseling and therapy costs
  • Lost income from missed work
  • Pain and suffering damages

This financial compensation can help you move forward and enhance your overall sense of justice. And it also imposes financial consequences on top of the criminal penalties.

Restraining Order Defense Lawyers

If you are the restrained person accused of violating an order, you also need legal representation. A defense lawyer can help by:

  • Reviewing if the order was valid and constitutional in the first place
  • Verifying exactly what conduct is prohibited by the order
  • Determining if your actions actually violated the specific terms
  • Challenging inaccuracies if the petitioner falsely accuses you
  • Presenting mitigating circumstances that explain the violation
  • Advocating for minimal penalties by emphasizing it was unintentional

Never try to defend yourself pro se against violation accusations. The stakes are too high. A knowledgeable lawyer can poke holes in the other side’s case and protect your rights.

Dealing with a restraining order violation is scary and frustrating. But you don’t have to handle it alone. Connect with a lawyer right away for trusted advice and a strong advocate on your side.

At our firm, we understand the legal process inside and out. We know how to document violations, gather evidence, and build an airtight case. And we’ll fight to get the penalties and additional restrictions needed to keep you safe.

Don’t wait – help is available. Reach out today to schedule your free consultation. An attorney can review your situation and start protecting you immediately.


Women’s Law: Violating a Restraining Order

FindLaw: Restraining Order Violations

Justia: Enforcing Restraining Orders

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