Being accused of domestic violence is one of the most serious charges that you can face. There are considerable legal consequences if you get convicted on a domestic violence charge, including fines, jail time, and even loss of your Second Amendment rights. However, one of the things that often gets overlooked is the social stigma of being accused as a domestic violence offender. It paints you as an angry aggressive person who is willing to get physical.
Unfortunately, while it takes a conviction before you have to face the legal consequences of a domestic violence charge, you often only have to be accused of domestic violence for other people to see you in a darker light. This is why restraining order abuse is such a problem in the United States today.
A restraining order – called a protection order in the state of Maine – is a common aspect of a family law or divorce situation, as well as a domestic violence scenario. Temporary protection orders are easy to get, requiring only a court filing.
Perhaps more importantly, temporary protection orders in Maine are ex parte, meaning the judge who issues the order only hears from the person requesting it. By only hearing from the side that wants the protection order issued, the judge doesn’t hear why it shouldn’t be issued, and the evidence in support of the order is never challenged.
While protection orders are meant to create a bubble of safety around someone who is being threatened by someone else, the ease with which they can be obtained and the power that they have over the person being restrained has made them a popular thing to abuse. Using protection orders to manipulate or pressure someone else has become a widespread tactic, often used to coerce that person into doing something they don’t want to do.
One example of protection order abuse is in a divorce proceeding. By getting a protection order, one spouse can put the other one in a bad light. This can be especially effective in the days or weeks before a child custody hearing, where the protection order will be noted by a divorce court judge as a reason to not grant the accused spouse custody, and limit visitation rights.
Being accused of domestic violence is a serious thing. However, being the subject of a protection order is not much less of a threat, especially if it is being used for ulterior motives. Fighting back and making sure that the truth comes to light as soon as possible can make a huge difference in your life. Hiring a domestic violence defense attorney like William T. Bly is the best way to make this happen.
By fighting for your rights and interests both in and out of court, Maine’s William T. Bly can ensure that you are not a victim of protection order abuse. Contact his law office online or at (207) 571-8146.
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