An order of protection or restraining order may seem like a trivial matter but it can have major consequences if you’re found to be in violation of it. This, coupled with the fact that very little proof is needed for a petitioner to get an order of protection, demands you hire a good attorney to combat this inequitable system. Don’t get bullied by an ex-spouse or an acquaintance you barely know. Our law firm can fight to keep an order of protection from being issued and keep you from having to face constant arrest for contempt of court.
Order of Protection
At Balestrini, Barnes, Jaber & Wood, PLLC our Memphis order of protection attorneys provide aggressive representation for our clients. Whether you are alleging that you are the victim of domestic violence, or you are being accused of domestic violence, we have the experience necessary to counsel you on getting or defending a Memphis order of protection. Our Memphis protection order attorneys will take the necessary steps to ensure that your rights are protected and help you obtain or defend an order of protection.
When a family member, spouse, or ex files for and receives an order of protection against you, a violation of that order is automatically upgraded to a felony if it is a domestic violence charge. So, hypothetically, if you and your ex used to live together and then you decide to go back and get your dog’s leash, you could end up in jail with a very high bond. Take our advice, if someone is trying to get an order of protection against you hire a Memphis protection order attorney and fight it. An attorney can not only stop the order of protection from being granted, but they can gather information and seriously discredit the person seeking the order in case they try to do it again. Defending an order of protection is not easy. It will result in a hearing that could last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. If you hire a Memphis protection order attorney to represent you in an order of protection hearing, expect to pay between $750–$1500. It may sound like a lot, but a felony bond for violating the order of protection will start at around $4000.
Tennessee defines "domestic violence" as abuse perpetrated against a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, or former cohabitant. Abuse inflicted by one's current or former dating partner is also domestic violence, as is abuse committed against the parent of a child by the other parent. Tennessee also extends its recognition of domestic violence to abuse committed by extended family members, provided the abuser and the victim are related in the second degree by either blood or marriage.
Allegations of domestic violence are very serious. If true, they affect the victim not only physically but also mentally. If domestic violence accusations are untrue, the accused has to defend themselves in a bogus order of protection hearing. In addition to it being a civil matter, Tennessee also imposes criminal liability on persons who have perpetrated domestic violence and who have violated an order of protection.
Tennessee’s domestic violence statutes are designed to prevent abuse between family members, household members, and dating couples. The statutes protect both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Victims of domestic violence may request that the court issue a protective order to prevent future abuse. A parent may apply for the order on behalf of a child, or the child, if age 12 or older, may appear in court and independently seek such an order.
In Memphis, the following persons may obtain a protection order:
• A person who is in immediate and present danger of domestic violence
• A child who is in immediate and present danger of abuse by a family or household member
• A child who is in immediate and present danger of being abducted by a parent or relative
• An elder or dependent adult who is in immediate and present danger of abuse
Tennessee law permits the issuance of a protection order and other domestic violence prevention orders not only to increase the security of the victim, but also to provide a legal mechanism for holding the violator accountable for their actions. If the violator violates a protection order, the violator may be jailed and punished in accordance with Tennessee law.
Temporary protection orders enjoining contact with the victim may be issued by the court on an ex parte basis (where only the alleged victim appears before a judge). The alleged victim must file a declaration setting forth "reasonable proof" that an act of abuse or stalking has occurred. Once a temporary restraining order has been issued, a hearing will be held. While the case is pending, a court must suspend any license to carry a firearm and order the respondent to dispose of all firearms in his/her possession. A hearing on the merits of the case will be set. At that hearing, the petitioner must show by a preponderance of the evidence that he/she is in fear of further threatening behavior, abuse, or harassment. Based on the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing, the judge will determine whether a final protection order should be issued.
Memphis orders of protection may enjoin specific conduct and acts of abuse, exclude a person from a home, and enjoin other specific behavior necessary to ensure that the orders preventing abuse are upheld. Final protection orders may also include provisions for child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, and attorney fees and costs. Either the petitioner or the court may modify these orders, or the parties may stipulate to a modification. The victim of domestic violence may also request that a protection order be renewed. To speak to a Memphis order of protection attorney about fighting a restraining order or options available for protection from domestic abuse, please call us at 901-578-1515.
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Balestrini, Barnes, Jaber & Wood, PLLC
1555 Madison Ave, Ste 202
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 578-1515 P
(901) 578-2929 F