If you have been served with a restraining order under the Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA), it generally means that a family member or relationship partner has alleged that you injured or attempted to injure them within the last 180-days. Regardless of whether you believe these allegations are correct, do not contact the person who has made the allegations. Doing so can land you in jail. Instead, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away because you only have a limited time to contest the order.
It is fairly easy for someone to obtain a FAPA restraining order – no lawyer is needed and the forms are available for free at the courthouse. Being served with a restraining order is not the same as having domestic violence charges filed against you. Sometimes, the restraining order may be based on false allegations, but if you violate the order you can still face serious penalties.
Oregon law also provides for Stalking Protective Orders. If you have received a citation from the police for stalking, it is important that you contact a lawyer quickly. The citation will trigger a court hearing that may result in a Stalking Protective Order, which can severely limit your freedom.
In these and other types of restraining order situations, it is important to have an attorney lawyer who will take the time to communicate with you and learn the facts of your case. Beyond knowing the law and having experience in court, you want an attorney who will listen to your story and then investigate the facts underlying the case.
By talking to potential witnesses and undertaking other factual investigation, the best attorneys are able to develop a strategy that is tailored to your specific situation. This can make the difference between having your freedom restricted by a restraining order for a year or more, and having the case dismissed quickly.
Being served with a restraining order can be stressful and confusing, so you also want a lawyer who will work with you to make sure you understand how to avoid violating the order while it is in place. If the order prevents you from returning to your home, for example, your lawyer may be able to help you arrange a time to retrieve your possessions without violating the order.
Brett Hall is an experienced civil litigation and criminal defense lawyer who has practiced in Portland for more than a decade. He understands that every case is unique and will take the time to listen to you, then hit the streets as needed to investigate the facts and uncover evidence that may make all the difference in defending you at the hearing on your restraining order. Brett has handled many restraining order cases and will spend the time you need to understand what the order means for you so that you can avoid incurring additional penalties.