Restraining orders or orders of protection are legal devices that place a legal directive against a person or persons in such a way that any violation of it will proceed directly into a custodial disposition. In other words, if a judge issues a restraining order against someone and they violate that order they will be arrested and appear before the court in a criminal complaint. Most people take these orders seriously and wish to avoid a criminal record or jail time, which is why they are often used to prevent violence or harassment in situations which have become exacerbated.
In cases of domestic violence your attorney will advise you to get a restraining order as a means of protecting yourself, those around you, and any potential children as it provides a deterrent in many cases. It also acts as a trigger to further, more concrete action should the situation deteriorate further. When the restraining order is violated, the escalation of the matter happens quickly and with more effectiveness than filing a complaint repeatedly.
While no restraining order can prevent violence or harm 100% of the time, it certainly creates a deterrent in most cases and a method of adjudicating further should it become necessary. These court orders are used frequently in our state to help reduce the tension, calm the circumstance creating the violence or hostility—many of them are simply temporary solutions when relationships have become overwrought. Courts will often reconsider them as circumstances change, something that many of our clients want to be reassured of as they seem an extreme action, at times.
If you have been a victim of violence or have been threatened speak to an attorney about a restraining order. They certainly can be employed quickly and your attorney can help you to work through this process quickly and in secrecy should you be fearful.