Law Office of Luke Scardigno - Queens Criminal Defense Attorney

Comply with a restraining order, even when fighting it

A restraining order has been taken out against you, perhaps by a spouse or co-worker. You don't agree with the order, you don't think it's just, and you want to fight it.

You can; you have that right. You and your legal team can file a response and even go to court to have the order lifted.

However, one of the most important things you need to remember is that you still have to comply with the order, even as you're fighting it. Don't assume it doesn't apply just because you're trying to have it lifted. Until it is, it's still legally binding. Breaking the order is a crime -- no matter what you think of it or whether or not it's eventually lifted -- and you could face charges.

Depending on the order, this could mean:

  • Not coming within a certain distance of the other party.
  • Not making any phone calls to that person or sending text messages.
  • Not contacting the person electronically, via email or social media.

These are important points to remember, since making contact may be your first instinct. However, if you find out about the order and then quickly call the other person up to demand an explanation and ask them to remove the order, you may have violated it and the law in the process.

It's important to remain calm, find out what legal options you have, and address the issue in the proper fashion. Don't make the whole situation worse by violating the order and perhaps convincing the court that it is needed after all.

Source: FindLaw, "Legal How-To: Fighting a Restraining Order," accessed Feb. 09, 2017

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