If you are an occupational therapist, then you are aware of the time, work, and expense that is required to earn your license. When you get your license, it also does not mean that it is yours forever. Your occupational therapist license is monitored by the state, and you are expected to follow several rules and requirements to maintain your license. If you fail to follow these expectations, then you can face discipline or even revocation of your license. If you are an occupational therapist and are facing a restraining order petition, then make sure that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
What Is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order is a protective order that a court can grant to protect someone from someone else. If a restraining order is granted, then many restrictions can be made on the person that it is against. Common restrictions include no-contact orders and orders prohibiting the defendant from going to certain places where the victim works or is known to go. If you live with someone who wants a restraining order against you, then you can be forced to move as part of the conditions.
What Are the Legal Reasons to Grant a Restraining Order?
The court can authorize a restraining order under various facts and circumstances. The first requirement for a restraining order is that there is an allegation of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
To get a restraining order, one must first file a petition with the local county court. The person who files this petitioner is known as the petitioner. The person who the restraining order is against is known as the defendant. In a restraining order petition, the petitioner is required to provide extensive detail about the events alleged, the relationship between the parties, and a bevy of other information. Restraining orders can be granted if any of the following accusations are made:
There are Two Types of Restraining Orders in New Jersey:
- Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs)
- Final Restraining Orders (FROs)
Temporary Restraining Orders
Temporary restraining orders (TROs) are the first type of restraining orders that someone can seek. When someone files a petition, the restraining order they are requesting is a TRO. When someone petitions for a TRO, he or she is brought into court for a hearing with the judge to determine if protection is necessary. The defendant will not know about this hearing unless a TRO is granted.
Once the court authorizes a TRO, the defendant is served with the TRO by local law enforcement. The defendant is also given a court date within ten days for a hearing to determine if the TRO should become permanent. The protections of the TRO will remain until a final decision is made on a permanent restraining order.
Final Restraining Orders (FROs)
When restraining orders are made permanent, they become final restraining orders (FROs). FROs can be authorized only after a court hearing that involves both the petitioner and the defendant. Both parties are allowed to present witnesses and evidence under New Jersey court rules and state law. At this hearing, both the petitioner and defendant can be represented by counsel.
A court must find that the following three circumstances are proven by a preponderance of the evidence before granting a FRO:
- A qualified domestic relationship exists between the parties, or the petitioner alleges sexual assault or stalking
- A preponderance of the evidence shows that the defendant committed the acts alleged
- Continued protection is necessary to ensure the petitioner's safety
If a FRO is granted, then it is important to understand the power that it possesses. A FRO can force you out of your home, away from your kids, and can even interfere with your profession and any professional licenses. Make sure you do not take a restraining order lightly; it can have disastrous consequences.
What Are the New Jersey Laws that Govern Therapist Licenses?
The New Jersey Occupational Advisory Council is the committee that licenses and monitors occupational therapists within the state. The rules and regulations that the Occupational Advisory Council follows can be found within the New Jersey Administrative Code at 44K. This list of rules and regulations outlines what a licensee must do to get and retain an occupational therapy license to practice.
How a Restraining Order Can Affect Your Therapist License
Your occupational therapy license can be in harm's way if a restraining order is granted against you. Several different sanctions can occur if a violation is alleged. Before any steps are taken against your license, the Advisory Council can launch an investigation against you to determine if your alleged actions violated your requirements as an occupational therapist. The first step in any investigation is to ask for your version of events in writing. Make sure you speak to an attorney before you submit anything.
Does a Restraining Order Appear on a Criminal Background Check?
No, neither a temporary nor final restraining order will appear on a criminal background check because they are not criminal actions. If you were to violate a restraining order, then you can face criminal charges, which will appear on a criminal background check. The best way to prevent this from happening is to avoid having a restraining order granted against you. Even if you do not face criminal charges related to a restraining order at any point in time, a restraining order will appear in civil court records, and if a final restraining order is granted, in New Jersey's Domestic Violence Central Registry. It is important to remember that such records can cause issues in a occupational therapist's professional and personal life separate from any direct consequences from the restraining order itself.
Contact the Lento Law Firm Today
If you have questions about restraining orders, then make sure you speak to an experienced attorney. A restraining order can harm your occupational therapist license and professional opportunities. The attorneys at the Lento Law Firm have the experience and knowledge to help. To learn why attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are the right choice, call us at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.