Look, we get it. A restraining order can be frustrating. When you're under one, everything in your life feels harder and more time-consuming. At a minimum, a restraining order can limit where you're allowed to go. An order can make it difficult, if not impossible, to negotiate legal settlements outside of court. It can interfere with shared custody agreements. Simply put, it's a hassle. And that doesn't even take into account the emotions you may be feeling at having been labeled “threatening” or “dangerous.” You're probably angry at the person who filed the order; you may even be angry at the judge who granted the order.
You Must Be Mindful of Your Emotions
It's OK to be angry. You have a right to feel angry.
Acting on your anger, though, can have serious repercussions for your case. When any of us acts out of anger, we're far more likely to do and say things we'll later regret. Those words and actions can quickly turn a difficult situation into an impossible one, as recent headlines from Trenton, NJ, illustrate.
Shakur Wright was issued a restraining order in early February 2022. That order prohibited him from contacting his ex-girlfriend. Angry about the order itself and frustrated with the situation, Wright tracked the woman to a gas station on South Broad Street, where he shot her in the torso. Now, he faces a long list of new charges, including attempted murder, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a handgun, and possession of a handgun for unlawful purposes.
Of course, Mr. Wright didn't just violate his restraining order: he shot someone. Even if he hadn't, though, going near his ex-girlfriend was enough to seriously damage his case. At a minimum, ignoring a restraining order can result in a criminal contempt charge, which carries a penalty of up to 18 months in state prison.
In fact, your reaction to a restraining order can harm your case even if you never actually violate the terms of the order. If you're in court when the order is issued, it's important you remain calm. Getting upset or protesting the order will only reinforce the court's opinion that you are dangerous and need to be restrained. If your case is still ongoing, any outburst could serve as further evidence against you.
Maintain Your Composure and Seek Professional Help
Instead of allowing your anger to get the better of you, do the smart thing. Hire an attorney. A lawyer can speak on your behalf, ensuring you don't do or say things that you shouldn't. Someone with experience may even be able to successfully contest the restraining order itself. If nothing else, they can be at your side during difficult moments, reminding you to stay calm and helping you see the bigger picture.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento knows restraining orders. He understands the frustration you're feeling. He's sympathetic to what you're going through. He's also practiced at helping clients make the right choices, the choices that lead to successful outcomes.
If someone has filed a restraining order against you, don't let the situation get out of hand. Seek professional representation. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-555-3686 or use our automated online form.