Attorney for Protection Orders & Restraining Orders in Lynnwood
Defending the Criminally Accused for 25+ Years
If you've been accused of domestic violence, then you may have been served with a domestic violence protection order, otherwise known as a restraining order. This order may cause you to lose contact with your children and leave your family home, in addition to facing charges for domestic violence.
Does A Restraining Order Go on Your Record?
A harassment order or restraining order goes on your public record and therefore can be seen by potential employers or anybody else who runs a background check on you. A protection order is different from a no-contact order.
A no-contact order is issued by a court at the request of a prosecutor to restrict a criminal defendant from contacting the alleged victim while a criminal action is pending against the defendant, usually for assault.
A protection order has nothing to do with any criminal action and is issued by a court at the request of a person, referred to as the "Petitioner,” against someone that the Petitioner is claiming has assaulted or harassed them. We know that a protection order needs to be taken seriously.
How Long do Restraining ORders stay on your record?
In the State of Washington, restraining orders typically stay on your public record for 3 to 5 years, or the exact date when the order is set to expire. However, if the court issues an order to take the record off, then it may be removed sooner.
If you are no longer subject to a restraining order but still find it listed in public records, you should contact the court clerk who issued the original order and ask them to remove it from your record.
If a permanent protective order is granted by the court, this will remain on your public record indefinitely unless otherwise requested and approved by the court. It’s important to note that even after a restraining or protective order has been removed from your public record, other people may still have access to information about it (like employers conducting background checks).
Violating Orders of Protection
It is a crime to knowingly violate the conditions of a Protection Order. Per that order:
- You may be required to stop committing the abuses with which you have been charged with
- You may not be permitted to return home
- You can be ordered to pay child support
- Or you may be required to enter into anger management treatment or counseling
If you violate a protection order in Washington State, penalties can range from up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. If you continue to violate the protection order, it may become a felony offense, which is much more severe. If you've already violated the order, then penalties may be more serious and you could be charged with a felony!
If you have been served with a Temporary Order of Protection from Domestic Violence, someone you know, the Petitioner, has filed a petition with the court that alleges you have committed acts of domestic violence against them. The court has reviewed the allegations in the petition and decided to grant the petitioner a temporary order for protection against you restricting your freedom.
The temporary order is usually good for 2 weeks and also contains a date for a "permanent hearing" where you are ordered to appear in court to give your side of the story as to why the court should not issue a permanent order against you.
It is absolutely imperative that you hire a competent domestic violence defense attorney to represent you at the permanent hearing. Anything you say at the permanent hearing can later be used against you in a criminal matter.
For this reason, it is important you have a skilled lawyer representing you to get your side of the story out while limiting any risk of a prosecutor later using your testimony against you. Rest assured, we are very experienced at defending these matters in Snohomish county and elsewhere throughout Washington state.
What NOT to Do if You've Been Served a Protection Order/Restraining Order
- DO NOT contact the petitioner in any way, not even to ask what the order is about. This includes all modes of communication, including phone calls, e-mails, texts, letters, etc.
- DO NOT send the petitioner an apology or explanation. If the court or police find out that you have attempted to communicate with the petitioner in any way you will be arrested, taken to jail and charged with a crime.
- DO NOT ask someone who knows the petitioner to communicate a message for you or ask about the order on your behalf. Third party contact is not allowed.
- DO NOT go anywhere that the temporary order prohibits you from being. Read the order carefully. Protection orders often will restrict you from going to or being within a certain distance of the home, workplace, or school of the petitioner. This can create huge problems if you work or live with the petitioner. If you work with the petitioner we may need to contact your employer to make sure you can keep your job. If you are found violating any of the distance or location restrictions of the order you will be arrested, taken to jail, and charged with a crime.
What to Do if You've Been Served a Protection Order/Restraining Order
- DO contact our firm immediately. Too often potential client wait to contact me until a few days before the hearing. While we still do our best to help in this situation, it makes the job of presenting the best defense much harder.
- DO examine each of the claims against you in the petition carefully.
- DO write out a response to each of the claims against you and bring that response with you to your initial meeting with me.
- DO write out as much as you can about the background of your relationship with the petitioner. I need as much information as I can get to best frame the issues for the judge. The more you can educate me on your relationship, the better chance I will have of convincing the judge that you, and not the petitioner, are in the right.
- DO bring any photos of injuries you have suffered in the past at the hands of the petitioner or any other evidence that shows that the petitioner may have a violent or unreliable nature.
Filing a Written Response
The only way to properly defend these actions is to file a written response to the allegations in the petition. Few people realize that due to the high number of cases a court has to deal with in a limited time frame, the court will only allow a few minutes of live testimony at the permanent hearing - if that.
Often times the court will have its mind made up when it calls your matter. The judge will have reviewed the file and the written claims against you prior to the hearing.
If you have not filed a written response defending yourself, a response that the judge can read ahead of time, then it is almost impossible to win these hearings. The sooner you contact us the more time we will have to investigate your case and draft an effective response to the claims against you.
Why Call Protection Order Violation Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Lance Fryrear?
While many attorneys refuse to handle domestic violence protection order cases, we focus intensely on defending protection order violations in our practice every day. We know the special challenges the prosecutor faces in trying to convict you of a domestic violence protection order charge.
Our lead attorney prosecuted protection order violations for seven years. As you can see from our client reviews, we will do everything in our power to help you through this difficult event, both in court and emotionally as well.
While we cannot change the fact that you were charged with a crime, we can give you the best chance at keeping the matter of your record and getting you life back to normal as quickly as possible. Give our firm a call now and we'll be there for you.
“Thank you for your help during my legal crisis. Your particular brand of counsel was a comfort and a blessing to me. Keep being real.”- A.M.
“Just want to say thanks! You have been so kind and obliging to answer my questions, some probably stupid but nonetheless you were there for me (above and beyond the so-called "call of duty"). I do want you to know how much I appreciate it all. Yo”- J.B.
“When I hired Lance to represent me I knew I hired the best. He is not only an outstanding lawyer but an outstanding person as well.”- J.D.