Restraining Order Opposition & 209A Violations
Massachusetts defense of restraining order applications & violation hearings
CONTESTING A RESTRAINING/ ABUSE PREVENTION/ 209A ORDER
If someone has applied for a restraining order against you, you should contact a defense attorney immediately. Without a skilled advocate protecting your rights, you stand to lose a lot; the freedom to go where you want, your job, your home, even contact with your children! If a restraining (also known as a 209A) order is issued, you will also be entered into a nationwide criminal database, even though the order is a civil document. If a ten-day temporary restraining order has been issued against you, you have the right to present a defense before a full 209A order is issued. If you fail to appear or contest the order, it will issue automatically. Judges are reluctant to deny these applications without a strong reason to do so. It is much safer for them to issue the order based on public policy. Contact my office for your free consultation, and I will help protect your rights at this hearing. I will present all legal arguments available, and make sure that you are treated fairly. You have a lot to lose at these hearings, so it is important to speak with an attorney who will protect your rights.
If an abuse prevention order has already been issued against you, and you were not present at the initial hearing before the issuance of the order, I can help. The courts allow for your lawyer to file a motion to reconsider, or to terminate the order, within a very limited time frame. Chances are that the petitioner, or the person who took out the order against you, only told half the story, or perhaps even lied, in order to have the judge issue the 209A restraining order. If this happened to you, I will help you gather all of the relevant information, evidence, witness statements, and documents in order to supplement our motion to reconsider. I will work to provide you with the strongest defense possible in order to have the order terminated. In most cases, the difference between having a motion to terminate the order allowed and having it denied is which person comes prepared, and represented by an attorney. An abuse prevention order is life-altering and can have devastating consequences; if you think that you can't afford to hire a lawyer, the truth is that you can't afford to NOT hire a lawyer.
209A (RESTRAINING ORDER) VIOLATIONS
While the underlying 209A is a civil order, a violation of that order is a criminal offense than can carry up to 2 ½ years in jail and $5000 fine. Once a restraining order is issued against you, the court expects you to take extra precautions to ensure compliance with that order. You can be charged with a violation even if you are not trying to do anything wrong; or in some cases, by trying to do right. It is not uncommon for the person who has the order against you to invite you over to reconcile your differences. Unfortunately, in the court’s eyes, if you accept that invitation and go near that person’s home while the order is still in effect, you are in violation and can be sentenced to significant jail time. You can be found in violation for any form of contact with that person, and many times the only evidence against you is that person’s statement as to what happened. Judges often do not hesitate to find a defendant in violation of a 209A because of the need to protect victims of abuse. If charged with a 209A violation, you are entitled to be represented by a lawyer. I will fight to protect your rights and rigorously question the complaining witness. I will examine the restraining order documents to look for any defects and employ all available legal defenses. I will fight to protect your freedom.
If you have been served with notice of a restraining order, or if you have been accused of violating the restraining order, contact my office for your free initial phone consultation:
98 North Washington St.
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: (617) 830-2188
Fax: (617) 507-8188