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The Do’s and Don’ts When Responding to a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

A common feature of many domestic violence cases is restraining orders (Temporary Protection Orders) issued against the Defendant. If you are charged with or accused of a domestic violence offense in Las Vegas, you will likely be served with one of these orders shortly after you are arrested and charged. Although you may be more concerned about the criminal charges facing you, you should give equal attention to this legal restraining order.

Courts issue these restraining orders as a means to protect the alleged victim from further abuse and harassment. Violating these orders is often met with swift action by the court. It can also lead prosecutors to file additional charges against you even as your original domestic violence charges remain pending.

What Not to Do After Receiving a Domestic Violence Temporary Protection Order (TPO)

One of the worst things you can do after receiving a TPO is to violate it by contacting the protected person. You may be tempted to do so to try to convince the person to drop criminal charges against you. You might also be tempted to apologize to the other person. No matter your reason for wanting to have contact with the other person, do not do it. You could end up back in jail and facing additional charges.

Do not attempt to relay messages to the other person through friends or family, either. Speaking with mutual acquaintances and asking them to deliver a message to the protected person listed in the order is considered the same as communicating with the protected person themselves. 

Third, you should not retrieve any personal property from the other person’s residence without requesting a police officer accompany you. This is known as a civil standby, and having one present with you can mean the difference between being arrested and recovering your belongings without incident.

Lastly, you should not ignore any hearing dates listed in your restraining order. Failing to appear at these hearings can result in the court modifying or extending the restraining order without considering your viewpoint or evidence favorable to your position.

Three Things to Do if You Are Served With a TPO

Once you have been given a domestic violence restraining order, you are subject to its terms and conditions. There are three things you should do next:

Read the Restraining Order Carefully

First, take time to read the restraining order in its entirety. Familiarize yourself with the identity of the protected person in the restraining order and any specific prohibitions beyond contacting that person. 

For example, you may be prohibited from making disparaging comments about the protected person online or driving by certain addresses and locations. Knowing these terms will keep you from unintentionally violating the restraining order.

Begin Gathering Evidence for the Next Hearing

Your TPO will list a hearing date that you should plan on attending. At this hearing, you are entitled to present evidence as to why the order’s terms should be modified or dropped altogether. If the TPO is dropped, you can resume contact with the other person and are no longer subject to any limitations that the order placed on you.

Because the purpose of the restraining order is to protect the other person from abuse and harassment, evidence showing that you do not pose a risk of either will be most persuasive to the court. This could include text messages or voicemails sent to you by the other person before and after the restraining order was put into place.

Seek Help From an Experienced Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer

Finally, your ability to succeed in getting the TPO dropped and resolve any criminal charges successfully depends on having a skilled and seasoned defense attorney assisting you. 

The sooner you speak with such an attorney and retain their services, the sooner that lawyer can help you gather evidence and represent your interests in court.

Any domestic violence case involves complicated procedural and substantive legal issues. Your lawyer can help you navigate these issues and hurdles successfully and will fight to protect your rights.

How the DUI Doctor Can Assist You With Your TPO

The DUI Doctor does more than help clients facing DUI charges. If you have been served with a restraining order or are facing domestic violence charges of any type, our experienced criminal defense team can assist you in responding effectively to the situation. This can include modifying a TPO and defending against underlying criminal charges. Contact us today to learn more.

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