Raleigh North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyers Discuss Restraining Orders and Stalking
A restraining order can be a difficult and heavy burden on your life and your ability to move freely as you wish. It may affect where you can and can’t go, with whom you may speak or communicate, and in certain circumstances may even put you out of your own home. If you have been served with a restraining order in Wake County, you need to know each and every one of your options and you have precious little time to act on them. Contact the Criminal Defense Team at Hatch, Little and Bunn law firm today and let us protect you and your interests.
The first aspect to consider after being served with a restraining order is what type of restraining order it is. If there has ever been a romantic or sexual relationship between you and the other party, it is more likely that the restraining order is called a “50B” meaning that it falls under the domestic violence restraining order law. If there has not been such a relationship, it is more likely that the restraining order is a “50C”, which falls under the stalking or unwanted sexual contact statute. This distinction is an important one that affects how your case should be handled and what potential consequences there may be for a violation of any such restraining order.
The second aspect to consider after being served with a restraining order is whether there is an ‘ex parte’ active order for you to stay away from the other party now and until the judge can have a hearing on the matter. When you are first served with the paperwork, the serving law enforcement officer should explain to you what the terms of the order are. There may be an active order from the judge for you not to have any contact with the other party until a hearing can be had, or there may not be such an order until after the judge has made a determination at a later hearing. Depending on which of those two situations is in place, you may have restrictions on your movement, your interactions, or your ability to possess firearms.
Whichever the case may be, it is in your best interest to reach out to an experienced litigation attorney who can assess the other party’s position and what you can and cannot do until the time of the hearing. It is also important that you discuss with your attorney the type of relationship you have or had with the other party and provide your attorney with a copy of the paperwork you received so that your attorney can understand the nature of the complaint against you.
Whether the judge will grant a restraining order against you will likely come down to a hearing like a trial or some agreed upon disposition between the parties. The consequences for violating a restraining order depend on the type of order it is. If a domestic violence restraining order is placed against you and you violate it, then the other party can bring out criminal charges against you that could result in up to 150 days in jail! On the other hand, if you violate a 50C (stalking or unwanted sexual contact) restraining order, it is more likely that the other party will file a show cause action to bring you in front of the judge to explain how and why the order to stay away was violated and could result in a number of different outcomes for you.
The world of restraining orders is a quick and complicated one. If you have been served with restraining order paperwork, call the Criminal Defense Team at Hatch, Little and Bunn today at 919-714-4306 and let our Raleigh criminal defense lawyers discuss your options with you. Let us walk you through how to get the most favorable outcome in your case.