What are Restraining Orders?
Restraining orders are court orders in which a judge determines that another individual cannot make contact with a specified person and must remain a certain number of feet from the person at all times. This includes specific prohibitions such as approaching the alleged victim’s home, workplace, and other known areas where he or she frequents. Furthermore, these orders often prohibit any form of communication, including phone calls, mail, email, social messaging, and other forms of contact.
While restraining orders may be issues in cases involving domestic abuse or violence, assault and battery, stalking, harassment, and other cases, some of them are taken out in order to manipulate a specific scenario. A couple involved in a child custody dispute may try to obtain a restraining order to gain leverage in a case.
Violation of a restraining order results in serious penalties, such as the following:
- Jail time
Lifting a Restraining Order?
In most cases, either the victim or the defendant can ask the court to life the restraining order. This is often done by filing a motion with the court, such as a “Motion to Lift Restraining Order” or a “Motion to Modify Conditions of Pretrial Release.”
The requesting party must convince the judge that dropping the order is in the best interests of both parties, as well as the state. For example, the restrained party may argue that he or she has undergone anti-violence counseling, has remained sober, the current order harms the children, and that the alleged victim no longer feels threatened.
The alleged victim and the restrained party are often present at the hearing and may present testimony. In criminal cases, a prosecutor may conduct a cross examination on the alleged victim.
If you are currently are subject to a restraining order, contact our St. Louis criminal defense attorney at The Hammer Law Firm today.