A Restraining Order, or sometimes called an Abuse Prevention Order, is often issued by the Massachusetts District Court or Probation & Family Court that prohibits you from contacting and/or from coming within a certain distance of the other person.
The standard for the issuance of a Restraining Order is not very high, and an emergency Restraining Order is often too easily issued upon the simple application of the person seeking the Order. The Application for the Abuse Prevention Order usually just involves the applicant filling out an Affidavit in Support of Abuse Prevention Order and telling a Judge the reasons that they are seeking the Order. In most cases, the applicant is a spouse or someone involved in a dating relationship who outlines circumstances of threats or physical abuse.
If a Restraining Order is issued against you, there may also be several collateral consequences. For example, you may also be prohibited from custody or visitation of your children; ordered to pay temporary child support; and even ordered to vacate your own home. Moreover, although the mere issuance of a Restraining Order is not criminal in nature, a violation of an Abuse Prevention Order in Massachusetts can lead to very serious criminal charges, including the crime Violation of Abuse Prevention Order, which carries a penalty of up to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections and a fine up to $5,000.
Unfortunately, an overwhelming amount of Restraining Orders are sought by persons going through divorce, for spite or for other vindictive reasons, and many people don't realize the consequences of having a Restraining Order issued against them until it is too late. For this reason, you need to consult with an experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer who knows the laws surrounding Restraining Orders.
Boston Criminal Attorney Lefteris K. Travayiakis has successfully defended persons against whom Restraining Orders have been issued, and has even successfully gotten those Restraining Orders lifted or vacated. Call 617-325-9500 to speak with a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer or send an e-mail.