Courts may file a temporary restraining order as a precaution, restricting contact with the petitioner and visitation rights with children. Defending against a restraining order can be complicated, and will almost certainly require the assistance of an experienced defense attorney.
What to Do If a Restraining Order Is Filed Against You
If there is a temporary restraining order against you, the first and best thing you can do to help your case is to obey it. Even in situations where you feel you have a valid reason to make contact, resist the urge. Obeying the restraining order shows the court that you can be agreeable.
While you’re busy obeying the restraining order, there are a few other things you could be doing to help your cause, including:
- Gathering any written or electronic communications and documents (emails, letters, phone bills, computer documents, text messages, etc.) you think might bear any relevance to your defense. If you aren’t sure, make a “maybe” pile and keep those too.
- If there is any physical evidence (photos, videos, torn clothes, etc.), you should gather and protect all of that as well.
- Talk to anyone who may have been a witness to the incident which lead to the restraining order or has information pertaining to the person who filed the order against you. Character witnesses can be important in restraining order cases.
If the petitioner that has the order against you lied or mislead the judge in any way, the aforementioned evidence will go a long way towards getting the ruling reversed.
What Not to Do
There are some definite “no-no’s” as well, including:
- Destroying evidence. Even if you think the evidence is incriminating, destroying it can make a judge and jury distrust you, and may even result in separate criminal charges being filed.
- Contacting the petitioner or anyone they will name as a witness. You can only make things worse.
- Willfully disobey the order. Do Not disobey the restraining order. Do Not. If you violate the order, you will be sabotaging your own case.
The Lewisville criminal defense attorneys at Julian, Crowder & Shuster have years of experience defending clients from various criminal charges, including assault, DUI, domestic abuse, and more.