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How Brooklyn Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help with Restraining Orders and Orders of Protection

How Brooklyn Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help with Restraining Orders and Orders of Protection

If you have a restraining order or order of protection filed against you, it can feel scary and overwhelming. But working with an experienced Brooklyn criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights and avoid unfair penalties.

This article explains what restraining orders and orders of protection are, when they are used, and most importantly – how a good defense lawyer can assist if you find yourself in this situation.

What are Restraining Orders and Orders of Protection?

A restraining order and order of protection are legal orders issued by a judge that restrict contact and communication between people. They are frequently used in cases involving:

  • Domestic violence
  • Stalking
  • Harassment
  • Child abuse

The orders are intended to protect victims from further harm or threats. They can prohibit the restrained person from contacting the protected party in person, by phone, email, through social media, or through third parties.

Restraining orders also often restrict being within a certain distance of the protected person – like their home, workplace, or school. The orders remain in effect for a set time period, or indefinitely.

How Defense Lawyers Assist with Restraining and Protection Orders

If you’ve had a restraining or protective order filed against you, it’s essential to take it seriously and get qualified legal help. A knowledgeable Brooklyn criminal defense attorney can assist by:

Representing Your Side in Court

Your attorney can speak on your behalf in court hearings related to the restraining order. They will advise you on how to respond to accusations and present facts and defenses that tell your side of the story.

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Negotiating the Terms of the Order

Defense lawyers are experienced negotiators. Your attorney may be able to negotiate the terms of the restraining order to be less restrictive if they are able to show it is excessive or unnecessary.

Getting an Unfair Order Dropped

If there are good grounds showing the order was based on false accusations or improper reasons, your lawyer can petition the court to get the order dropped entirely.

Avoiding Violations and Penalties

Your attorney will clearly explain what you can and cannot do under the order. They will advise you on steps to take so you avoid violations and penalties.

Common Defenses Against Restraining and Protective Orders

There are a number of defenses a skilled defense attorney may use in restraining order cases. Some common ones include:

False Accusations

If the restraining order petition contains false allegations, inaccuracies, or misleading statements, your attorney can point those out to the judge and request dismissing the order.

Order is Unnecessary or Excessive

Your lawyer may argue the protection order restrictions are too broad or severe given the circumstances. They may be able to get the order modified to be less limiting.

You Did Not Actually Violate the Order

Sometimes alleged “violations” are misunderstandings or coincidental contacts. Your attorney can demonstrate to the court you did not knowingly violate the restraining order.

Examples of Defense Lawyers Getting Orders Dropped or Modified

Here are some examples of how skilled defense attorneys have successfully fought restraining and protective orders:

Order Based on False Police Report

A woman filed a police report falsely accusing her ex-boyfriend of threatening her. She used the report to obtain a restraining order against him. His lawyer was able to prove from phone records and witness statements that the man was out of state on the date of the alleged threat. The order was dismissed.

Order Was Excessively Broad

A man had a protection order filed against him by his brother’s ex-wife that prohibited him from contacting her or his brother. His attorney demonstrated that he had no history of violence or harassment against the woman. The judge agreed the order was too broad, and modified it to only prohibit contact with the ex-wife.

Technical Violation Due to Shared Residence

A woman had a restraining order against her child’s father. They unintentionally had contact when he went to collect his belongings from their formerly shared residence. His lawyer was able to prove to the judge the violation was unintentional, and the charges were dropped.

Penalties for Violating Restraining and Protective Orders

It’s very important to understand that violating a restraining or protective order is a criminal offense. Depending on the circumstances, penalties can include:

  • Fines up to $1000
  • Jail time up to 6 months
  • Community service
  • Probation

Subsequent violations often carry stiffer penalties. Hiring an attorney to prevent violations can help avoid these serious consequences.

The Pros and Cons of Restraining and Protective Orders

There are good reasons restraining and protection orders exist – primarily to protect victims of domestic abuse and stalking. However, critics argue they can sometimes be misused or overused. Some pros and cons include:

Potential Pros

  • Protect victims from further harm
  • Can provide safety and peace of mind
  • Deter stalking, harassment, and violence
  • Allow time apart for high-conflict relationships

Potential Cons

  • Can be improperly used in custody disputes
  • May involve false or exaggerated accusations
  • Can unfairly restrict person’s rights
  • Hard to remove once granted

Consult an Attorney Before Ignoring an Order

Only a judge can modify or dismiss a restraining or protective order. The police must enforce the order as written. It’s never advisable to simply ignore an order you feel is unfair or excessive.

Instead, immediately consult with an experienced Brooklyn criminal defense lawyer. They have the skills to protect your rights and advocate for your best interests.

A Lawyer Can Help Avoid Unfair Penalties

Having a restraining order issued against you does not automatically make you guilty of abuse or harassment. Unfortunately, restraining orders can sometimes be obtained based on false allegations, misunderstandings, or as tactics in personal conflicts.

A qualified attorney can put the accusations against you in proper context to show you are not a threat. In many cases, they can get unfair orders modified or vacated, and avoid penalties for innocent violations.

Don’t take chances with your reputation, family, career, freedom, or finances. Work with an experienced Brooklyn defense lawyer to resolve the situation in the best possible way.

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