Winning the Restraining Order Hearing
Being served with a restraining order is a disquieting and, oftentimes, unexpected development. If you have been served with a temporary restraining order, you may rightly feel that you have been denied your right to defend yourself. After all, even a temporary restraining order may impose considerable hardships on you, including having to immediately vacate your residence, suspend all contact with someone you care about, and stay away from your place of employment. We have successfully prevented restraining orders from issuing against clients in the District Courts of Cambridge, Woburn, Waltham, Somerville, Newton, and Boston. Our lawyers are ready to advise, assist and defend you.
Explaining the Restraining Order Process
In Massachusetts, those seeking restraining orders need only complete an affidavit explaining why they believe the person against whom they are seeking the protective order poses an imminent danger to them, and then appear before a judge to verify the representations in the affidavit and, perhaps, answer a few questions. The judge often grants a temporary restraining order to the complainant. This temporary order will inform the recipient of a hearing date, usually within 10 to 14 days. At that hearing, the judge will hear from both the complainant and the defendant before deciding whether to issue a permanent restraining against the defendant.
If someone has obtained a temporary restraining order against you or is seeking a permanent restraining order against you, strongly consider retaining a knowledgeable, experienced restraining order defense lawyer to represent you at the hearing. In Massachusetts, while a restraining order is a civil order, it appears on your criminal record permanently. A restraining order gives the recipient enormous power over you; the complainant need only telephone the police to report having seen you drive by her home to have you arrested.
If you have already been arrested because the complainant accused you of domestic assault and battery or some other crime, the hearing on the restraining order may be your criminal defense lawyer’s only chance to cross-examine the complainant before the criminal matter proceeds to trial. An experienced criminal defense attorney will use this opportunity not only to undermine the complainant’s credibility, but to commit her to a set of facts, explore any inconsistencies, and create a court record of her testimony.
Massachusetts Restraining Order Lawyer’s Record
Attorney Mahoney has prevented restraining orders from issuing against the vast majority of his clients. Hearings on restraining order applications are not won with empty rhetoric or recitation of the legal standard – they are won through effective, thorough and aggressive cross-examination. In his best selling book, Relentless Criminal Cross-Examination, he devotes an entire chapter to teaching lawyers how to successfully cross-examine alleged victims.