When a person contacts the police and claims to be a victim of domestic violence, a restraining order is a likely next step. Courts generally issue temporary orders following arrests for domestic violence even if no one has been convicted of a crime. A dedicated domestic violence attorney could help a person facing a restraining order protect themselves and understand the limitations of the order.

If you are the target of a temporary or final restraining order, you have the right to defend yourself in court. Doing so is vital, given that the consequences of violating a restraining order are severe. Let a Hackensack restraining order lawyer assist you through each step of the process.

Temporary vs. Final Restraining Orders

Not all restraining orders are the same. Some are temporary and last only until a final decision can be made by the court. Others are final, remaining in effect for a substantial amount of time. A skilled lawyer in Hackensack could help build a defense against either type of these restraining orders.

Superior Court judges have the power to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) if they believe an act of domestic violence has targeted a protected person. Notably, this is a civil proceeding, meaning that the restraining orders are not criminal convictions. The court has the power to issue these without a criminal conviction.

Within 10 days of the TRO, the court holds a hearing to determine if the order should be removed or become final. Here, the court listens to evidence from both parties and their legal counsel about the incident that led to the order and any prior history of violence. If the court orders a permanent restraining order, it can be removed only by an act of the courts.

Terms of a Restraining Order

A restraining order can limit an individual’s behavior in many different ways. The judge issuing the order has some flexibility on how a restraining order is applied. These orders could include a variety of restrictions, including:

  • Limits on returning to the family home
  • Barring contact with the alleged victim
  • Requiring temporary child support
  • Prohibiting the possession of a firearm
  • Giving up possession of a residence

Violating the terms of a restraining order—whether it is temporary or final—can have serious consequences, so it is crucial that the individual follows the court’s direction and retains an attorney in Hackensack to protect their rights.

Consequences of a Violation in Hackensack

Violating a restraining order is considered a fourth-degree criminal offense that could lead to as much as 18 months behind bars and a maximum fine of $10,000. There are times when the alleged violation of a restraining order is little more than a misunderstanding.

In some cases, for instance, the alleged victim might fabricate a claim of a violation. Just like with any criminal case, a person in these circumstances has the right to mount a defense against claims of violating a restraining order.

Talk to a Hackensack Restraining Order Attorney About Your Rights

If you are facing a possible restraining order, you must seek legal counsel right away. Once a temporary order becomes permanent, it can be difficult to have it dismissed.

You have the right to develop a strong defense to protect your rights and interests. Contact a Hackensack restraining order lawyer today to learn how that could be possible.