Violation of a Restraining Order, Protection Order, No Contact Order
When you are the subject of a no contact order or protection order it may feel like you are at the mercy of the person who filed the order against you. You may not want to even leave your house for fear of being arrested. Unfortunately, the restraining orders are often abused in our Washington court system. Many times, the alleged victim will initiate contact with the defendant and when the defendant responds they are arrested for violating the no contact order. If you are charged with violating a protection order you owe it to yourself to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you through the process.
When you are accused of violating a no – contact order it can often feel like you are guilty until proven innocent. This is not the way it is supposed to be. You should not lie awake at night knowing that you could be arrested at any time. An aggressive criminal lawyer can help the court system see what is really going on with your case. Our office provides free consultations on criminal cases.
do you legitimately need a protection order?
The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer will not help you abuse an already broken system, but there are times when a person needs a legitimate protection order. In those cases the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer will work with you to obtain an temporary and/or permanent protection order. Washington State law allows for a person to file a civil case in court, asking a judge to grant an order to protect them from another person whose behavior is abusive, threatening, exploitive or seriously alarming. The primary purpose is to order the “respondent” to not contact or harm the “petitioner.”
There are 4 types of protections orders, intended for specific situations. State law establishes who can seek them, who they can protect, who they can restrain, the types of protections and relief they offer, when and where court hearings are conducted, what costs may be incurred, etc.
Petitioners (the person filing the case) choose which type of protection order is most appropriate for them to pursue. However, protection orders do not cover everyone’s needs; there may be other legal remedies that are appropriate.
* Read the state law: Revised Code of Washington http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx
Other types of orders
The vast majority of people come to the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer after an incident where a police officer advised them to go to court to get a “no contact” or “restraining” order. No contact and restraining orders can also order a person not to contact or harm someone, but they are not protection orders and are used in different situations.
No-contact orders: Requested by the prosecuting attorney in a criminal case to protect the victim or witness of the crime.
* For information about obtaining or terminating a criminal “no-contact” order, contact contact our office for a consultation. We generally charge a small fee for these types of consultations.
Restraining orders: Requested by the parties as part of an existing domestic cases such as a divorce or a case to determine paternity, custody, child support or visitation.
Important Information to Understand About the Protection Order Process
The process for obtaining all protection orders is somewhat similar. Petitioner should realize:
* They are filing a civil court case.
* There may be costs for filing fees, copies, service of copies of forms on the respondent, etc.
* They must complete several court forms.
* The documents are filed in a publicly available court file (except the Law Enforcement Information Sheet)
* A return hearing will be scheduled to:
* Respondent can defend against the allegations.
* The judge can determine if the protection order should be granted.
* The respondent (the other party) must be served with copies of documents, including the:
* Petition, so the respondent knows of the allegations and what type of relief the petitioner is requesting, and the Temporary Order (if granted) and Notice of Nearing, so the respondent is aware of any restraints currently against her/him, and the time and location of the hearing will be.
* There may be more than one return hearing, especially if petitioner has difficulty in getting the respondent served.
* Each trip to the courthouse, to start the case and to appear again at court hearings, usually takes 2-5 hours.
* The judge will review the court documents and decide if the legal standards have been met in order to grant the protection order.
The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer will fight to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome in your court case. Call attorney Erin Bradley McAleer today at (360) 334-6277 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Washington Attorney Erin Bradley McAleer represents clients throughout Southwest Washington State, including in Clark County, Cowlitz County, and Skamania County and Vancouver, Battle Ground, Camas, La Center, Ridgefield, Washougal, Woodland, Yacolt, Castle Rock, Kalama, Kelso, Longview, North Bonneville, and Stevenson. Attorney Erin Bradley McAleer focuses on the areas of Criminal Defense, Traffic Infractions, Landlord Tenant, Personal Injury, Firearm Rights Restoration, and Post-Conviction Relief (Vacating & Sealing Criminal Records)