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Can I Get A Restraining Order After Suffering From Domestic Violence?

The most innocuous of arguments can lead to a domestic assault charge. The law is not on the side of those who have been accused of such. The police will arrest someone for domestic assault even without eye-witnessing the events. To establish probable cause, the police need only witness statements or proof of injury to convince them that the victim has a legitimate domestic violence complaint. Because the district attorney treats domestic violence assault very seriously, she makes it hard for the offender to walk free without emptying his wallet. The offender must pay bail, attorney’s fees, lose vacation days for court appearances and take anger management classes for which he or she may also have to pay.

The victim’s signed and notarized affidavit stating that he or she does not want to pursue the assault charge will not exonerate the alleged offender. The district attorney still has the discretion to prosecute the charge if she wants. Further, when making a judgment about the offender, the district attorney and judge will err on the side of the victim in domestic violence cases. Doing so allows the judge to issue a restraining order prohibiting the offender from contacting the victim for certain amount of time after bail has been made.

What Is A Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a court order commanding the defendant to stop the domestic violence and stay away from the victim from a distance specified in the order.

How Do I Get a Restraining Order?

The victim must file a petition in court to get a restraining order. The victim must prove to the judge that:

  1. Domestic violence occurred.
  2. Violence is likely to happen again.
  3. The offender has a relationship with the victim through blood, previous or present marriage, a mutual child or a previous or present live-together relationship.

Those who have a pending divorce can also petition for a restraining order. The petition must be filed in the same court where the divorce is pending. All other petitions must be filed in the county in which the victim or the offender lives. You can file for a restraining order by yourself, but it is a good idea to hire a domestic violence attorney, especially if children are involved.