Rhode Island Restraining Orders Lawyer

Family, Divorce and Criminal Defense Lawyer Susan T. Perkins

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Restraining Orders in Rhode Island

A restraining order is a mixture of family law, civil law, and criminal law. There’s a strong need for a true trial attorney to represent your goals in a restraining order case. Rhode Island Restraining Order Lawyer Susan T. Perkins prides herself on helping those in need of legal assistance, advice, and guidance. As such, Susan T. Perkins aggressively handles temporary and permanent restraining order filings and hearings in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Susan T. Perkins aggressively pursues Court orders on behalf of those who are victims of domestic violence and/or civil harassment and need protection. She also defends against any temporary restraining order sought for frivolous or unlawful purposes.

There are numerous forms, many of which are very complicated, that must be properly filled out and filed with the Court to obtain a temporary restraining order in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. As such, Susan T. Perkins is devoted to representing your interests to the best of her abilities. After the TRO (temporary restraining order) hearing, Susan T. Perkins prepares for the permanent restraining order hearing, which is a hearing (mini-trial) where both sides present evidence and witnesses. Serving a restraining order to a defendant, or being issued an unjust restraining order, can be hard on an individual or family. This is why it’s important to have a Rhode Island restraining order lawyer by your side. Contact the Law Offices of Susan T. Perkins, Esq. today to learn more about how she can support you through this difficult time. 

What You Should Know About Restraining Orders in Rhode Island

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re either feeling threatened and in need of a restraining order, or you’ve been served a restraining order and you need more information. Either way, we aim to provide support and legal guidance to anyone facing a restraining order case. Below you’ll find facts, frequently asked questions, and valuable information to help you understand more about how restraining orders work in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Restraining Orders

There are many different types of restraining orders in Rhode Island.

For example, a civil restraining order is designed to protect victims of unlawful violence, threats of violence, or conduct that seriously alarms the victims.

A domestic violence restraining order helps protect families who are suffering from domestic abuse. This could include sexual assault, threats, bodily harm, and more.

An elder abuse restraining order can be issued if a person over the age of sixty-five has been abused or feels threatened. This could include emotional abuse, physical abuse, financial abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse.

If you’d like more details on the various types of restraining orders, contact our law firm today. A restraining order lawyer would be happy to discuss your circumstances and explain the differences between each type of restraining order. 

How do you get a restraining order in Rhode Island?

To file for a restraining order in Rhode Island you have to:

  1. Go to the proper court (Family court or District court) to fill out the paperwork, including an affidavit, which will act as your sworn statement.
  2. A judge will review the order and make a decision based on the facts you’ve provided.
  3. If you would like to extend your restraining order past 21 days you will have to attend a second hearing and face your accuser (the defendant).

At the Rhode Island law firm of Susan T. Perkins, we understand that deciding to file for a restraining order and going through the process of obtaining a restraining order can be a daunting process. Remember that you don’t have to go through these steps alone. Contact our law office today to learn more about how a restraining order lawyer can help.

What’s the difference between a No Contact Order and a restraining order?

A No Contact Order (NCO) applies to criminal cases. It is a type of restraining order that is issued at a criminal arraignment hearing. These orders are in place for the entire length of a criminal trial or sentence. A no contact order can only be dropped if the victim files a request and it is approved by a judge. 

A restraining order can be sought whether or not there is a criminal case. A victim can file for a restraining order when there has been physical or sexual abuse, threats of violence, or stalking. To help you understand more about these differences and how they can apply to you, contact our law firm for more information.

Do I need a restraining order if I already have a No Contact Order?

As we mentioned above, a No Contact Order is a type of protective order that’s associated with criminal cases. If you were the victim of a crime, your No Contact Order will stay in place throughout the defendant’s criminal trial and sentence. For instance, if the defendant is sentenced to two years in jail, your No Contact Order will be in effect for those two years. 

Whether or not you need a restraining order in addition to a No Contact Order will depend on your circumstances. A restraining order placed on top of a No Contact Order does provide extra protection and can be in effect for a longer period of time than a No Contact Order. It’s important to keep in mind that a No Contact Order will typically only protect the victim of a crime, so if you have children, your children will not be covered under your No Contact Order. In these cases, it’s highly recommended to file for a restraining order to protect your family. 

If you’re unsure if you should file for a restraining order if you already have a No Contact Order, contact us today to speak with a protective order lawyer. 

How long does a restraining order last?

The length of time that a restraining order is in effect will depend on the specifics of your case. When you apply for a temporary restraining order (TRO), it will be in effect for up to 21 days to allow time for the defendant to be served. If the defendant cannot be located for service, the temporary restraining order is extended and a new summons will be issued. If the restraining order is granted at the second hearing, it can be in effect for up to 3 years. 

If you’re still in fear of the defendant before the order expires, you can return to the court to apply for an extension. For legal guidance and support filing for a restraining order or an extension of a restraining order, contact our law office to speak with an attorney.

What To Do If Facing a Rhode Island Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a serious matter. You’ll want to take the necessary steps to deal with a prospective restraining order. Follow these steps to give yourself the best chance at defending against a Rhode Island restraining order:

Obey the Restraining Order

If someone files a restraining order against you, the first step you will need to take is to follow the temporary restraining order terms. You will be served a note with instructions and limitations. Take these into consideration and follow the guidelines closely, such as not contacting the petitioner. Even if you feel the restraining order is unjust, follow it to avoid additional penalties. In the meantime, contact a Rhode Island restraining order defense attorney so they can help you prepare for the permanent order hearing in court.

Gather Evidence For Your Restraining Order Defense

During this time, you and your Rhode Island restraining order defense attorney will gather evidence of any incidents relating to the petition. This can include items such as clothing, videos, photos, correspondence, and objects. Think of any and all possible witnesses that may have information about the event who can testify on your behalf.

Items of evidence are useful in the court system. If the petitioner has made any false claims against you, then you can testify against such accusations. Phone records, emails, and witnesses can testify on your behalf and may play a key role in having the restraining order lifted. 

What NOT To Do When Facing a Rhode Island Restraining Order

If you are facing a Rhode Island Restraining Order, under no circumstance should you do any of the following:

Destroy Evidence

Even if you think certain evidence might hurt you, do NOT destroy it. This will cast you immediately in a suspicious light with the court and the jury. This will give them a bias opinion before the trial even begins as well as the possibility of leading to other criminal charges.

Speak With the Petitioner

Under no circumstances are you to try contacting the petitioner in any way. If you wish to negotiate and reach an agreement, call a Rhode Island restraining order attorney who can mediate a conversation between you and your petitioner’s attorney.

Disobey Restraining Order Terms

Adhere to all requirements of the restraining order. If you violate any of the terms, the petitioner has the right to use it against you at the permanent hearing or file another motion against the violation.

What happens if the defendant violates a restraining order?

Violations of Family or District Court restraining orders are taken seriously and considered criminal offenses in Rhode Island. Violations of a restraining order can be punishable by up to one year in prison or up to a $1,000 fine. Remember that any contact made in person, by phone, letter, email, or through a third party is considered a violation of a restraining order.

When a defendant violates a restraining order, it can be a scary and frustrating time for individuals and families. If you’re concerned about restraining order violations or you feel threatened in any way, contact our law firm immediately to speak with a restraining order lawyer.

Contact a Rhode Island Restraining Order Lawyer Susan T. Perkins

If you find yourself in a situation involving a restraining order, please contact Rhode Island Restraining Order Lawyer Susan T. Perkins at (401) 324-2990 for a FREE consultation.