The Wisconsin statute on domestic abuse restraining orders provides victims with options separate from the criminal process, so it is possible to obtain a court order prohibiting conduct by the alleged offender.
When it comes to something as important as safety for you and your family, it is critical to get skilled legal help with domestic violence injunctions. Our team at Karp & Iancu, S.C. is aggressive in pursuing all available options, but we are compassionate in understanding your situation. Please contact us today to schedule a no-cost case review. One of our Kenosha restraining orders attorneys can describe details, and a summary about the laws and legal process is informative.
5 Things to Know About Wisconsin Domestic Abuse Injunctions
If you have experienced violence or threats from someone you know, you may be able to obtain an order of protection that prevents the individual from engaging in conduct that amounts to domestic abuse or harassment. A restraining order offers protection against future violence because it is a criminal offense to violate the terms established by the court. Additional points to note about injunctions include:
- An individual can get an injunction against any adult family member or member of the household, including current and former spouses, individuals who share a child, people who dated, or someone with a caregiver.
- To initiate the process for a restraining order, a person must file a petition in court. The petitioner must state all information and provide all evidence demonstrating that the abuser has or may engage in domestic violence. The alleged abuser is the respondent in the case.
- The injunction will include a list of what the respondent is prohibited from doing. Usually, the order will require the person to cease communication, avoid contact, and vacate a residence shared with the petitioner.
- The respondent will be required to surrender firearms during the pendency of the domestic violence injunction case, and possibly some time thereafter.
- If the respondent violates the terms of the restraining order, the penalties can be serious. A conviction could mean up to 9 months in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first offense.
Types of Restraining Orders
A civil order of protection is different from the no-contact order that a criminal court might issue after a person is arrested for a crime involving domestic violence. A private individual can seek an injunction preventing the abuser from certain acts, though the details vary according to the type of restraining order that suits your situation.
Temporary Restraining Order:
It is possible for a petitioner to file the documentation and receive an injunction from the court on the same day, since the laws recognize that these orders may be critical on an emergency basis. Granting of a TRO is done on an ex parte basis, which means there is no hearing and no opportunity for the respondent to be heard. This is the reason the order is temporary and can only last 14 days.
Domestic Abuse Restraining Order:
If the petitioner seeks to extend the TRO, the court must hold a hearing. The respondent must be properly served and will have the opportunity to defend the allegations in court this time around. If the judge finds that the domestic violence is likely to continue, the restraining order can be extended to 2 to 4 years.
Civil Harassment Restraining Order:
This type of order is intended to enjoin harassing, intimidation, stalking, and threatening by the respondent. A civil harassment restraining order can be temporary or permanent in nature, subject to the same process described above.
Your Interests as a Respondent
From the above description, you can see that some aspects of the restraining order process greatly favor your accuser. You did not receive notice of the petition requesting an order of protection and could not defend yourself at the ex parte hearing, so the order was entered based entirely upon the petitioner’s claims. Fortunately, you will get the opportunity to appear in court for the hearing on a permanent restraining order. Your first priority should be retaining a Kenosha restraining orders lawyer to defend your rights, but some additional tips include:
- Comply with the TRO to the most meticulous detail.
- Collect evidence, such as texts, emails, messages, and other information that sheds doubt on the petitioner’s allegations; and,
- Avoid social media, as your posts, comments, and content can harm your interests.
Legal Process for Orders of Protection
The positions of the petitioner and respondent are obviously very different, but the restraining order legal process is generally the same. Karp & Iancu, S.C. will help prepare the petition for a restraining order, appear on your behalf in court, and handle the follow-up tasks after entry of a TRO. We will also be at your side for the hearing to extend the injunction.
If you received TRO paperwork, get in touch with our team right away. We can discuss the terms stated in the order to ensure you stay in compliance. Our lawyers will get started immediately on a strategy to defend the allegations and obtain a favorable outcome.