Domestic Violence Injunctions (also referred to as DVIs or restraining orders) are relatively easy to initiate as once a person believes you are a threat to them, their family or their children, they can file an affidavit at their local courthouse.
When the restraining order is initially issued, you will not be called to testify – the order will simply be issued and you will be notified. The court will issue a temporary restraining order and schedule a hearing within approximately 14 days to determine if it the order should be extended.
If the restraining order is extended, the impact of consequences may surprise you. Know to expect – and prepare for – the complications that will inevitably arise as you may lose access to your residence, which will, in turn, prevent you from accessing your possessions – clothing, cash, items needed for work or necessary day-to-day life tasks.
Additionally, once a restraining order is issued, prepare to:
- Relinquish any firearms you own.
- Vacate your home or apartment by the date specified if you share it with the person protected by the injunction.
- Avoid all contact with any person(s) mentioned in the restraining order which may include relatives, friends or the children of the person protected by the injunction.
- Maintain a certain distance from the persons(s) named in the restraining order.
- Be arrested on suspicion of violating the restraining order if someone reports seeing you in the vicinity of the person(s) protected by the restraining order.
- Comply with any child custody or visitation modifications per the terms of the injunction.
- Continue paying child or spousal support as part of a divorce settlement as specified.
- Have it show up on a criminal record background check.
- Be deported if you are not a United States citizen.
The consequences and effects of a restraining order can be devastating so if a restraining order has been issued against you, don’t wait until your hearing to begin the process of challenging the grounds of the injunction.
It’s important to know your rights and to know that if you feel the injunction has been filed falsely – or unnecessarily – against you, you can challenge the foundations for the restraining order. It’s not uncommon for a restraining order to be leveraged to have control over a person during a divorce, break-up or argument. As such, it’s important to tell your side of the story.
Our attorneys can help you get extensions of time to prepare for the final hearing, take depositions, interview neighbors and witnesses, review medical records and gather evidence. Additionally, our experienced injunction defense attorneys can thoroughly cross-examine witnesses and find inconsistencies in stories.
And often, if no evidence of threats or domestic violence is found, the court may choose to deny the injunction.
Don’t let a temporary restraining order become permanent. Contact the attorneys at Anton Castro Law today to learn how we can help represent your best interests.