Columbia Restraining Order Lawyer

Anyone who is being harassed or stalked by another individual, and there are more than two instances of that conduct, can file for a restraining order. Restraining orders are a court order that protects the petitioner from harassment, stalking, or violence from another person. If someone violates a restraining order, they could be facing imprisonment. To learn more about restraining orders, contact an experienced domestic violence attorney today. A Columbia restraining order lawyer could answer your questions and help build a defense if you have accused of violating a restraining order or have had one filed against you.

Defining a Restraining Order

A person may file in magistrate court for a restraining order against another person if the other person is harassing or stalking the petitioner. Harassment is when there are at least two attempts to intrude into the private life by another person that would cause a reasonable person mental distress. Examples of harassment include continuously contacting someone via phone calls, text messages, and emails. Harassment also includes regularly dropping by the individual’s place of employment or home. This pattern of unwanted communication is the most common harassment that may require a restraining order.

Stalking is a more serious charge than harassment. Stalking is behavior that causes a reasonable person to believe that the individual stalking them would kill, seriously injure, or kidnap them or member of their family.

Protection Orders vs. Restraining Orders

A restraining order is different from a protective order. Civil protection orders are generally related to domestic violence cases involving a spouse, household member, parties with a child in common, persons who live together, or formerly lived together. A restraining order could involve third parties and deals with different types of people. It also often occurs in situations of harassment and stalking.

Petitioner Requirements to File an Order

When filing a petition for a restraining order, the petitioner needs to collect the evidence showing the individual was calling or texting all the time. They could save their phone and text records and print them out to show the police as proof of the harassment or stalking. The police then may make an incident report to document the harassment or stalking.

The petitioner can also take photographs or audio and video recordings of the behavior to prove to the judge that the person needs to be protected from the individual harassing or stalking them.

Violating a Restraining Order

The consequences of being accused of violating a restraining order in Columbia depends on the type of order, but the penalties are similar. When someone violates an emergency restraining order, it is a felony that carries up to five years in jail, unless the underlying charge is a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor charge carries up to three years imprisonment.

The laws regarding the two types of restraining orders are found in the South Carolina Code of Laws in Article 18, Sections 16-3-1910 and 1920. Due to the seriousness of a violation of a restraining order offense, an individual charged with one may want to obtain a Columbia restraining order lawyer.

How a Columbia Restraining Order Attorney Could Help

If someone has a restraining order filed against someone, a Columbia restraining order lawyer could fight to defend that individual. When a person represents themselves, everything that person says could be misinterpreted or manipulated in some way and used against them to prove the criminal charge. This is why it is beneficial for a person to have an attorney who can advocate on their behalf so that the individual does not have to say anything on the record. If an individual has violated a restraining order, they should consult an experienced legal advocate that could fight for them.

Columbia Restraining Order Lawyer