Restraining Order Attorneys Massachusetts
Abuse or Harassment Prevention Orders
Restraining orders are civil matters involving allegations of abuse, forced sex, harassment and/or intimidation. They can be filed in Superior, District or Probate and Family Courts or at the police station where the offense(s) occurred. A judge will likely find there is enough evidence to issue the initial, temporary order, and will then schedule a hearing for both parties to appear and argue why an extended order should or should not be issued. If an extension is allowed, it will be allowed for one year or less; the parties may return on the date the order is to expire and request it be vacated or extended permanently. The orders can also be modified or vacated, but only by the Court.
The terms of the order are case-specific, but, most commonly, the judge will require the defendant to:
- Refrain from abusing the plaintiff
- Refrain from harassing or intimidating the plaintiff
- Refrain from contacting the plaintiff, directly or indirectly and through any means including cell phone, Facebook, email, etc.
- Refrain from contacting the plaintiff's children, even if they are the defendant's children
- Stay away from the plaintiff's residence, place of employment and other addresses the plaintiff requests
- Stay away from the children's school
- Refrain from possessing any firearms, and relinquish any firearms, ammunition, weapons, and FID card to the local police station
The plaintiff has to show three instances of abuse, harassment and/or intimidation in order for the order to be issued. Often, these orders are sought by disgruntled neighbors or girlfriends.
Violating a restraining order is a criminal offense and carries a jail sentence. Most defendants fail to understand that the burden is on them to avoid contacting the plaintiff – even if the plaintiff initiates the contact.
If you believe you are in need of a restraining order, you should immediately contact the police. It may help your case to have an experienced attorney represent you at the hearings to ensure the order is issued.
If you have been charged with violating a restraining order, you should immediately consult with an experienced attorney to help you navigate through the criminal justice system. The outcome of your case will depend on many factors including, but not limited to, your previous criminal history, whether you are currently on probation, the amount of injury or damages to the complaining witness, etc.
Kathleen Black Reynolds, Esq. is an experienced attorney who is familiar with the criminal justice system and all the significant players.
Call or email her for a complimentary consultation - 781.935.7100