It is important to note that under Virginia Law, a restraining order or protective order can be petitioned without the express knowledge of the accused party or their presence inside the court. This can, very understandably, create a variety of issues. Most of these issues are centered on the possibility of abuse of restraining orders. As it stands, there are a lot of types of injunctions or restraining orders; they can generally be based on Anti-Harassment, Domestic Violence, Elder Abuse and Sexual Assault. Even as all these types were created to serve legitimate purposes under the law, they are increasingly filed for contradictory purposes.
In Virginia, restraining orders can be filed out of impatience, hostility, anger, apprehension or even mental health issues. Also, and it is becoming a dangerous trend, protective orders are filed based on false pretenses and deception. Parties with established legal capital, meaning increased access to well-versed lawyers or an understanding of the gray areas and loopholes within family and domestic law. And hence the possibility of them filing for wrongful restraining orders becomes dangerously likely. In any case, there are some ways you can defend yourself against restraining orders in Virginia, and we will gloss over that in this article.
Defending against a restraining order in Virginia
Act in accordance with the Court Order and maintain court decorum. This not only includes showing up for the court date, but it also includes keeping an appropriate behavior within the entire legal process; inside the court or outside. In such sensitive cases, due diligence becomes very important in terms of how you respond to the case itself. Avoid any outbursts or impulsive reactions, starting from receiving the notice of an injunction to eventually processing it inside of the courthouse. This is because reputation counts for a lot, and any impulsive reactions can damage your position in front of a judge or jury, ultimately hurting your chances.
Investigate and collect evidence; this is vital to your chances of fighting a restraining order. In the face of accusations, and especially wrongful accusations, remain on your toes and be calm and reflective. After understanding the severity and complexity of the allegations leveled against you, seek evidence that proves to the court that the petitioner is exaggerating or completely falsifying their claims on which their case is based. The proofs in this regard can range from anything to text message records, call records, GPS coordinates, social media histories, and conversations. Since this can be a very trivial and exhaustive process, it is always advisable to seek professional legal counsel in Virginia.
Assemble and organize documents extensively. The possible inclusions in this can range from emails, calls, court letters, spousal agreements on land and other commodities or benefits (if applicable), and previous criminal records (if applicable).
Defending yourself can be very stressful, both in terms of finance and time. It can also cause your nerves to wreck and can inflict horrors on your mental health and emotions. It is always best practice to consult legal services and, if possible, hire legal representation in the form of a lawyer in Virginia.