Restraining orders are meant to protect victims from their abusers and other kinds of people who might be dangerous. It is also easy to get a temporary restraining order as it requires minimal proof, which is why many people take advantage of it. If you have been served with restraining order papers, you must understand its consequences and get to know the terms.
Restraining orders, even temporary ones, are serious business. The order might require you to leave your house immediately and avoid contact with certain individuals. Violating the order has serious consequences, like substantial fines and jail time. Regardless of whether you think the allegations are false, you must obey a restraining order in NJ. If you are innocent, speak to an attorney.
Steps to take after you get served with restraining order papers
Read the terms.
Regardless of whether the order is temporary or permanent or whether you are guilty or not, you must obey a restraining order. Violating the terms can not only result in legal penalties but ruin your chances of fighting the permanent order. The order will contain the following information besides the terms:
- Date of the court hearing.
- The allegations against you and the evidence.
- Your rights.
Call a lawyer.
Remember that you won’t receive a free lawyer. However, you can choose to represent yourself. It is still recommended to get the assistance of an experienced attorney. They handle such cases regularly and know what to do. They can help you form a defense.
The most important step is gathering evidence to prove your innocence. An attorney is the most useful for this step. Before the temporary order turns into a permanent one, the petitioner must prove their allegations with solid evidence. This can include physical evidence like photos, videos, clothing, letters as well as eyewitnesses.
Attend the hearing.
The last thing you want to do is ruin your chances of winning by not attending the hearing. You may be frustrated because you are innocent, but that is no reason to miss the hearing. If you do not show up, the court will not impose any penalties but will likely issue a permanent order. This robs you of the opportunity to prove your innocence.
Possible defenses to a restraining order
Here are some possible defenses your attorney in New Jersey can use:
- False accusations where the petitioner has lied in their claims.
- Disapproving accusations by showing evidence that the claims are false.