3 Restraining Order Myths And The Facts Behind Them

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3 Restraining Order Myths And The Facts Behind Them

24 February 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Restraining orders are a common court-issued document, but especially considering how common they are, there are a surprising number of myths surrounding them. Below are three common restraining order myths and the facts behind them.

Myth: All I Need to Obtain a Restraining Order is My Word

Fact: While you won't be needing to convince a jury in order to obtain a restraining order, you will be required to convince a judge. This requires legal proof.

The proof you need will vary depending on the situation, but it's better to bring too much proof than not enough. For example, if you're being harassed by an ex-partner, you should bring in documentation of behaviors that constitute harassment, such as phone records that show repeated hang-up calls or print outs of text messages that include threats or name calling.

Myth: Getting a Restraining Order as Retaliation Has No Consequences

Fact: If you get a restraining order against someone just to spite them, not only will this order appear on their record, but you could also get in trouble for filing a false restraining order.

If you're being threatened with physical or emotional danger, or if the actions of another are causing you financial or other harm, then a restraining order is right for you. If, however, you're upset with an ex-partner for leaving you or simply want to make someone else's life more difficult, then filing for a restraining order can have consequences, for them and for you. Restraining orders are a matter of public record, and this can prevent the individual who you're filing against to be turned down for jobs or other opportunities. A judge will not look too kindly on someone filing a false claim and you could find yourself paying fines or even serving jail time.

Myth: A Restraining Order Will Protect Me From Becoming the Victim of a Crime

Fact: While getting a restraining order against an abuser or other violent individual can be helpful, it's important that you take other steps to ensure your safety and well being.

Unfortunately, not all people will respect a restraining order, so if you've gotten a restraining order with the hopes of keeping the dangerous individual away, you may be disappointed. While restraining orders can still be a beneficial layer of protection to have, they're only one aspect of creating a safe life for yourself. Other steps you can take include moving from your current residence, changing your phone number, and in cases of domestic violence, working with a domestic violence organization to get on your feet and away from your abuser. It's important that you don't get a false sense of security when you obtain the restraining order.

To learn more about restraining orders and how they can help in your particular situation, consult with an attorney.