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At Fogarty Law, we believe there’s a deeper story behind every charge our clients are facing. This is especially true for domestic violence and family issues as a whole.
Whether physical or emotional, domestic abuse is always an especially fragile subject for law enforcement and the court system. That’s why if you or a loved one is facing an upcoming hearing, a skilled and aggressive New Bedford restraining order lawyer is the best asset you can have.
Whether you’re being falsely accused or your accuser is trying to exact malicious revenge for a failed relationship, an expert criminal defense attorney is your best chance at clearing your name and avoiding life-changing consequences.
For over 10 years, Courtney K. Fogarty of Fogarty Law has fervently and successfully defended clients facing restraining orders, 209A orders, abuse prevention orders, and harassment prevention orders.
You see, we understand exactly how far-reaching the consequences of a restraining order can be. Not only will your current daily life be negatively impacted, your future can be forever altered as a result of this ruling.
Any type of restraining order will show up on background checks and your record for the foreseeable future. From your living situation to your future career path, a restraining order against you can cast a shadow over your life for years to come.
But when you choose Courtney as your New Bedford restraining order lawyer, you stand a real chance of winning a favorable ruling from the judge. With over a decade of experience and time spent as an Assistant District Attorney, Courtney is intimately familiar with the best ways to beat your accuser’s evidence, witnesses, and testimony.
Every case is completely unique, which is why Courtney will thoroughly research and investigate the details of the claims being made against you. From suppressing all mishandled evidence to pointing out holes in your accuser’s testimony, you can rest easy knowing every possible avenue for acquittal will be explored completely.
There are several different types of restraining orders in the state of Massachusetts. Each type is governed by specific sections of Massachusetts General Laws. The 209A order is so named because it’s governed by sections 209A of Massachusetts General Laws.
The 209A, or abuse prevention order, is applicable if you and your accuser are considered household members or family. There are 3 different lengths of time that an abuse prevention order may cover.
An emergency order is issued via phone when the courts are closed. If your accuser goes to the police department and asks for help obtaining this order, they’ll work together to convince a judge that the accuser is in immediate danger of abuse at your hands.
An ex parte or temporary order is issued to cover the time between your accuser requesting a long-term order and your court hearing date. It’s possible for a judge to issue this order without you even being aware. If issued, this order lasts until the official hearing which will be within 10 business days.
Finally, a long-term order can be issued after your formal restraining order hearing and may last for up to 1 year. Your accuser will be given a timeframe to apply for an extension of the order if they still feel at risk of abuse. In certain cases, judges are allowed to make the restraining order permanent.
Harassment prevention orders are governed by section 258E of the Massachusetts General Laws. Your accuser can get one of these if they can prove you’ve harassed or abused them in 3 or more separate incidents.
In Massachusetts a judge may issue a restraining order, or a 209A order, only if you and the accuser:
If you and the plaintiff meet one or more of the above conditions, the plaintiff may obtain a restraining order against you. This can be done in any superior, district, or probate and family court in the Commonwealth. If the order is needed outside of court hours, the plaintiff may get an emergency order through any police department.
In a Massachusetts restraining order hearing the plaintiff carries the burden of proof, which involves proving with a preponderance of evidence that they need the restraining order for their safety.
A preponderance of evidence is a lower threshold than proving beyond a reasonable doubt. While most crimes in Massachusetts require proof beyond a reasonable doubt in order to find you guilty, restraining orders are a little different.
This is because of the no-tolerance stance the state legislature has taken on domestic abuse. Basically, in order to help protect victims who truly need a restraining order, the state has chosen this easier-to-achieve threshold.
At a Massachusetts restraining order hearing, you and the accuser (also known as the plaintiff) will plead your sides before a judge. The courtroom is open for these hearings, so members of the community may choose to attend.
As you know, the plaintiff carries the burden of proof in these hearings. Both you and the plaintiff may offer testimony, evidence, call witnesses, and cross-examine each other. Once you’ve both made your cases, the judge will make their ruling.
You may be inclined to think these hearings can’t impact your life much because it’s not an actual trial. The thing is, your accuser only has to convince the judge that they’re living in fear of abuse. Without a skilled and aggressive New Bedford restraining order lawyer to advocate on your behalf, it’s incredibly easy for you to be hit with a restraining order that drastically alters your daily life and your future.
Don’t leave your well-being up to chance. If you or a loved one is scheduled for a restraining order hearing, the best thing you can do is contact a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney like Courtney K. Fogarty as soon as possible.
Just call Fogarty Law at (508) 317-0339 to book your no-charge, no-obligation 60-minute consultation.