Protective orders are powerful tools. If a judge issues a domestic violence order of protection against you, you might need to move out of the house and turn over any firearm in your possession. Protective orders can frustrate your ability to take care of yourself and deter you from seeing your children. As a result, it is not unusual for a person to make rash and outright false allegations of domestic violence to get a protective order against a partner.
Fortunately, you do have options for fighting a protective order so that you can get back to your normal life. Follow these tips below.
Immediately “Lawyer Up”
You can try to fight the order on your own. But chances are you will not be very persuasive before the judge or know how to expose inconsistencies and gaps in your partner’s story. Instead, find an experienced Galveston domestic violence attorney to represent you.
Review the Protective Order
The police probably delivered it to you, which might have come as a complete surprise. When you can get a moment to think clearly, look at the protective order. It should explain the threatening or violent conduct you allegedly engaged in.
The accusations should be fairly detailed, though it is not unusual for crucial details to be missing. Remember that emergency protective orders are issued without ever hearing your side of the story, so do not be surprised if the allegations are presented in a slanted way.
Ideally, you should convince the judge at your hearing that you did not engage in the violent or threatening conduct. This is the best defense—much better than “she started it.” Simply pointing out that your boyfriend or girlfriend is also violent does not do much to convince the judge that the protective order is unnecessary.
Instead, collect any of the following:
- The names of witnesses who observed the event. They might be able to testify that your partner actually attacked you while you tried to stop the violence.
- Any physical evidence, such as clothing or beer bottles. Your partner might have been out of control because she was drunk.
- Emails or letters in which your partner admits what really happened during the incident giving rise to the protective order.
Be Professional in Court
Judges, like everyone else, make snap judgments based on appearance, so look as professional as possible—neatly groomed, cleanly dressed, etc. You will also have to answer questions at the hearing. Remember to be honest and keep your answers factual. Do not engage in character assassination or vulgar language. If you need an interpreter because you do not speak English well, then ask for one.
In a Jam? Contact a Galveston or League City Domestic Violence Lawyer
Those accused of domestic violence have rights, one of which is the right to a fair hearing in front of a judge. To protect yourself, build the strongest defense possible, using high-quality evidence. If you need help in Houston, contact the skilled criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates for a consultation. We have helped many people accused of domestic violence and are prepared to discuss your options with you. Call (281) 280-0100.