Domestic violence is a pervasive problem throughout the United States, disproportionately impacting women and children. If you have been the victim of domestic violence, you can seek an order of protection to keep yourself and your children safe from an abuser. However, if you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence or stalking and have been made the target of a restraining order, you deserve capable representation to protect your rights. At WalshLaw, I provide dedicated representation in matters related to domestic violence. Drawing on more than 15 years of experience in family law and as a criminal defense attorney, I can guide you through the legal process and help you assert your rights.
In 2016, there were 78,100 reported incidents of domestic violence in Tennessee, of which 66.7 percent were simple assaults. Other offenses included 8,139 acts of intimidation, 7,364 aggravated assaults, 778 incidents of stalking, 604 forcible rapes, and 91 murders. Victims were three times more likely to be female. Juveniles accounted for 9.6 percent of the victims. The most frequently cited relationship in domestic violence incidents was that of boyfriend and girlfriend.
An order of protection, sometimes called a restraining order, is a court order a judge signs to help protect victims from abuse, threats and stalking. This order allows law enforcement to make an arrest of the targeted person without a warrant or probable cause.
A person can get an order of protection against:
A victim can file for an order of protection in the court of the county where the offending conduct occurred or where the targeted person lives.
The judge can tailor your protective order to provide the specific remedy you need, including:
A judge can issue a temporary protective order after an ex parte proceeding, hearing only your side of the case. This order can only last up to 15 days. However, the targeted person has the right to respond to your allegations at a later hearing to determine whether a permanent order should issue. The targeted person is entitled to counsel and can offer rebuttal evidence.
After the hearing, the court can extend the order for a year (with the possibility of renewing it before it expires) and add additional protections, such as an award of custody of minor children. A protective order can require the targeted person to attend counseling for anger management and substance abuse issues. The order can also forbid the targeted person from possessing, owning, or buying firearms. A judge can also order the targeted person to pay the victim’s expenses related to the order.
A targeted person who violates an order of protection is in contempt of court and liable for fines and jail time.
Nothing is more important that your safety. If you need a protective order, I respond with the appropriate urgency to get you the help you need. On the other hand, after more than 15 years of family law practice, I have also seen orders of protection used as weapons, especially in contentious child custody battles. If you have been served with a restraining order, I can provide the aggressive defense counsel you need to defend your reputation. Finally, regrettable incidents occur within families, presenting challenges that people who love each other face bravely together. The family court can provide the intervention some families need to confront a problem and get help through the appropriate social services. I provide guidance based on extensive experience in civil and criminal matters, so your loved ones can be safe while you take the necessary steps to heal your family.
If violence has shaken your family, get reliable advice and guidance from a determined advocate. WalshLaw provides honest counsel and zealous representation when you need it most. To schedule a consultation, call 615-240-7457 or contact my Nashville office online. My office is located at 4535 Harding Pike, just west of White Bridge Pike and Woodmont Boulevard.