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What to Do and What NOT to Do When a Restraining Order Is Filed Against You

Imagine your surprise when you find out someone filed a restraining order against you! Your first instinct might be to panic a little, because you aren’t sure if this goes on your record, and you don’t know what to do. If a restraining order is filed against you, there are specific things you want to make sure you do, and a few things you definitely need to avoid doing. Let’s review what actions to consider:

Things to Do

  • Contact an attorney – You’ll want to obtain legal representation as soon as possible. When you are served with a restraining order, you are automatically put in the position of having to defend yourself in court. Partnering with an attorney right away gives you the best chance for them to gather all of the necessary information so that they can be most successful.
  • Follow the order exactly – Even if the restraining order comes out of left field, it’s imperative that you do not contact the person who filed it. If necessary, remove their contact information from your phone or social media accounts; even an accidental phone call or text can be perceived as you breaking the terms of the order.
  • Gather evidence in preparation for trial – Talk with any friends or family members who might be used as your witnesses, and make sure you have a clear defense planned with your attorney. Anything that can be used in your case, like photos or emails, should be entered as evidence in support of your defense.

Things Not to Do

  • Announce it to the world – It’s understandable that you might be angry when you are informed of the restraining order, but it’s important to keep this information private. Making a statement on social media or telling every single person you know could potentially be perceived as an attempt to get information back to the plaintiff. Although the use of social media is high these days, remember that it can be used against you.
  • Violate the order under any circumstances – Restraining orders can be hard to follow, especially if there are children involved. If you have been ordered to stay away from a certain person, you need to make sure your actions demonstrate that. Any attempt to circumvent the order and try to make an exception, even for your kids, can be very damaging to your case.
  • Destroy evidence – If you have any evidence that might cast a poor light on you, it might be very tempting to destroy it. As long as you have a strong case built with your attorney, you shouldn’t attempt to cover up any of this information. If you end up getting caught, it will look like you have something to hide, and will be even more difficult to prove your case.

Did someone file a restraining order against you and you don’t know what to do? Contact The Nieves Law Firm today; we will advise you on how to proceed through the hearing and help create a strong defense.

Author Bio

Jo-Anna Nieves is the Founder and Managing Attorney of The Nieves Law Firm, an Oakland criminal defense law firm she created in 2012. With more than 11 years of experience in criminal defense, she has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including DUIs, domestic violence, expungement, federal crimes, juvenile law, motions to vacate, sex crimes, violent crimes, and other criminal charges.

Jo-Anna received her Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law and is a member of the State Bar of California. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named a Super Lawyer Rising Star the past 8 years, the #12 Fastest Growing Law Firm in the U.S. by Law Firm 500 in 2019, and one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. by Inc 5000 in 2023.

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