In New Hampshire, individuals file restraining orders if they want the court to protect them from an abusive partner or family member who poses a threat to their safety. A domestic violence restraining order case is a civil matter, but if the order is violated, it is handled by law enforcement and the criminal court. Both parties involved in a restraining order case are entitled to receive legal representation.
Domestic Violence Restraining Order Cases
A domestic violence restraining order case starts when the plaintiff files a petition with the court. In emergency situations, the court may grant a temporary restraining order until a hearing date is scheduled. The temporary restraining order doesn't go into effect until it is served to the defendant. It is advisable to speak with a criminal defense attorney if you are filing a restraining order to ensure that you are properly following legal procedures.
During the restraining order hearing, the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant abused the plaintiff and will continue to be a threat in the near future. In domestic violence cases, abuse usually consists of simple assault, sexual assault, harassment, criminal threatening, reckless conduct, and destruction of property. At the hearing, the defendant also has the opportunity to tell his/her side of the story and explain why the restraining isn't necessary.
Consequences for Violating Restraining Orders
If the restraining order is granted, the defendant must comply with conditions imposed by the court. For instance, the defendant may be prohibited from possessing guns and purchasing guns. The defendant may be prohibited from entering the plaintiff's home and place of employment. If children are involved, the court could order the defendant to pay child support and only allow supervised visitation.
If the restraining order is violated, the defendant will be arrested and prosecuted for criminal contempt. Initially, the defendant may be required to pay a fine and attend counseling. If there are repeat violations, the court could incarcerate the defendant. Being accused of violating a restraining order is a serious legal matter and assistance from a criminal defense lawyer should be sought immediately.
Set Up a Consultation with a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you received a restraining order, contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer. The attorneys at the Law Office of Chadwick-Fricano-Weber are strong advocates for clients and will provide the legal services you need to resolve your dispute. Call us today at (603) 880-6100.