Brockton MA Defense Attorney For Violation of Restraining Order
209A Restraining Orders, 10-Day Restraining Order, Restraining order Violations
A Chapter 209A restraining order is known as an abuse prevention order. The 209A statute was enacted in Massachusetts back in 1978. This statute allows anyone to seek a restraining order against any family or household member that is attempting or causing physical harm, placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm or forcing another to engage in involuntary sexual relations by threats, duress or force.
Upon receiving a request for a 209A restraining order, a judge will decide whether or not to issue the restraining order. If the restraining order is issued then the person named on the order will be barred from contacting of living in the house of the person who requested the restraining order.
The court can require several things under a restraining order:
- Order the defendant to leave and stay away from the household or workplace for a period of up to one year.
- Grant temporary custody of the children to the person that applied for the restraining order.
- Order the defendant to pay temporary child support while children are in petitioner’s sole custody.
- Confiscate any firearms in the defendants possession.
- Order the defendant not to contact the plaintiff by phone, email etc.
- Have the defendant attend a recognized batterer’s treatment program as a condition of probation.
10 Day Temporary Restraining Order
10-day restraining orders are issued by the court and require the defendant to stay away from the petitioner for 10 days. This is an emergency restraining order that is sought by the petitioner because they are seeking to have a restraining order issued immediately because of an imminent fear of harm or danger. At the hearing for a 10 day order the plaintiff/petitioner testifies before a judge in what’s known as an ex parte hearing. The defendant or person named on the petition for the restraining order isn’t given notice that the hearing is taking place. So the judge doesn’t get to hear the defendant’s side of the story at the hearing. Instead the plaintiff lists his or her allegations about the defendant’s conduct for the court to consider. At the hearing the judge will determine whether it is more likely than not that the defendant presents the plaintiff with a substantial and immediate danger of harm or abuse. If the judge determines that the defendant presents such a risk then the temporary 10-day restraining order will be issued. Violation of a 10 day restraining order can lead to the arrest of the person named on the restraining order.
A 10-day temporary restraining order usually serves as the first step toward getting a permanent restraining order. If you have had a 10 day restraining order issued against you by a judge then you will have the right to appear and present evidence at a subsequent 209A hearing. If you fail to appear or do not contest the order for a full restraining order then it will issue automatically. There is a lot at stake at these hearings.
When has a restraining order been violated?
In Massachusetts a Defendant has to very little to do violate a restraining order. Even the slightest contact can result in restraining order violation. Once a restraining order has been issued any form of contact made by the person named on the restraining order will result in a violation. The following would constitute a violation of a restraining order.
Examples of violations of restraining orders in Massachusetts include:
- Sending messages on Facebook;
- Having chocolates delivered anonymously;
- Sending text messages;
- Sending Emails;
- Creating a disturbance at a person’s work even if they weren’t there at the time;
- Having someone else contact the party or deliver a message;
- Making Phone calls and leaving voice-mails.
Restraining Order Filed Against You? Violated A Restraining Order? Get A Free Consultation With A Defense Attorney
Having a restraining order filed against you is a very serious matter and you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to insure your rights are protected. Your freedom, job security, future employment, educational opportunities and ability to see your children is all at stake.
Unfortunately, many people abuse the system in an attempt to obtain restraining orders for illegitimate purposes. Often times a jilted lover will seek a restraining order out of spite or a spouse will seek a restraining order during a divorce in order to strength their position in the event of a custody battle. Unfortunately most people don’t realize the potential consequences that can result from a having a restraining order filed against them. If someone gets a 209A restraining order issued against you then your name will be entered into the national criminal database despite the fact that this a civil matter and not a criminal matter.
For prompt and aggressive legal help today, contact our law offices immediately. Use our online contact form, or call us at (508) 584-6955, but get the help you need by letting us put our experience to work for you.