Restraining orders are a protective measure intended to help prevent domestic violence and protect victims of it. However, false allegations of domestic violence or criminal activity can result in restraining orders as well as actual allegations of criminal activity, resulting in unfair punishment and long-lasting effects for those accused.
f you have been accused of domestic violence, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Only by working with a qualified professional at the onset of the case is it certain that you will be able to present the best possible defense, especially in cases that involve allegations of domestic violence—some of the most notoriously difficult to absolve.
Perhaps one of the most surprising statistics about restraining orders is in that roughly half of all cases involving a court-ordered restraining order, there is no allegation whatsoever of physical violence. Restraining orders can be filed against a person who is accused of harassment that allegedly causes any time of emotional distress. This can include repeatedly calling someone on the telephone or creating a disturbance or a scene in a public place. It can also include the mere threat of violence—if a person is accused of threatening to commit physical abuse or harassment, he or she may be slapped with a restraining order.
As such, an estimated 70 percent of all restraining orders are thought to be trivial or false. The vast majority (85 percent) of these are filed against men, while the remaining 15 percent are filed against women. Additionally, more than half a million people are wrongfully arrested—arrested on unsubstantiated allegations—of domestic violence every year. These shockingly high numbers do not even take into consideration temporary restraining orders; an additional 1.5 million temporary restraining orders are filed every year that are discovered to be false or trivial.
There are several reasons why a person may file a restraining order. These include the filing by a jilted spouse during a particularly nasty divorce proceeding, or by a parent attempting to alienate a child from his or her other parent. Even if the allegations for the reason of the restraining order are determined to be false, it does not mean that the accused person will not continue to face consequences.
If you have been handed down a retraining order that you feel is based on false allegations, please contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assess your case and fight for your rights.