Protection Orders

Protection Orders—Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

A protection order, often called a restraining order, is an order to stay away from another person. Simple enough, right?

Not really. It can also be a black mark on a person’s record. It can make a person a “sitting duck” for a criminal arrest, harassment and criminal charges. Sometimes it can terminate a career or have the effect of kicking a student out of school. Or, it can be used maliciously and unfairly against you.

It’s Easy to Get a Restraining Order with Only One Side of the Story

A protection order can be obtained solely on the word of another person and without notice to you. All the person needs to do is go to court and say he or she has been abused with no other evidence or corroboration. The standard for the court to issue a protection order is low. Telling your side of the story comes only after you are surprised by service of a protection.

Protection Orders are the First Step Toward an Arrest

Protection orders create a lot of hardship and risk for the restrained person. Suddenly, just going home at the wrong time or an innocent text message can trigger a violation and a call to the police. Doing nothing wrong at all can still give rise to malicious claims of violating a protection order.

Entrapment can occur, too. A false allegation of assault, while a protection order is in place, can lead to a felony assault charge. It can lead prosecutors and judges to assume guilt if a future false domestic violence claim is made.

In sum, a protection order is not “just a protection order.” That verbiage represents a minimization that your accuser wants you and the court to believe. In fact, alleged violations of a protection order can lead to immediate arrest and criminal charges. The accused receives little leniency from prosecutors until a protection order defense attorney steps in to fight for you. This is why it’s vital to understand the seriousness of “just a protection order” and know how to fight one in a court of law.

We Have Helped Many People to Get Protection Order Petitions Dismissed

A court of law is intimidating for an unrepresented person, and that certainly doesn’t put you in a strong position to be your own advocate. Showing up at court alone to tell the judge what you have to say and expecting the court to agree that your accuser is lying is a very disadvantaged position.

We’ve watched the unrepresented try to defend themselves in court, and the vast majority of these individuals don’t win. While your accuser may have simply said things without proof, being a respondent is a totally different position—a weaker position. But that can be turned around.

There are rules to be leveraged to your advantage to make sure your story is presented in the strongest and most persuasive way. We know how to do that because we defend domestic violence protection orders every day.

Adults are not the only ones who can benefit from or be the subject of protection orders. Parents may suddenly find that their kids are being restrained and stigmatized or harassed by a protection order. Other times, exasperated parents feel they must go to law enforcement to get their children protection from bullies. No matter your circumstances, we are here to help.

We Are Experienced Seattle Restraining Order Attorneys

Most protection orders in King County get handled in King County Superior Court in Seattle. This court does a high volume of sexual assault, harassment and domestic violence protection order hearings daily. We operate in Seattle, where the highest volume of domestic violence protection orders are heard. With that experience, smaller counties and municipalities are no problem for us.

To be protected in a court of law, it’s imperative to call a restraining order attorney who is also a domestic violence lawyer. The timeline for preparing a hearing is 14 days or less. We can step in quickly; call us now at (206) 452-4030 to schedule your initial consultation.