Tips If You Were Served With A Delaware Domestic Violence Protective Order
You know that assault is a crime in Delaware, but there are some laws and protections that apply when an altercation involves a member of the family or household. Domestic violence laws provide a process by which a person can petition for and obtain a protective order in Delaware, directing someone else to refrain from certain actions. The petitioner can even get an injunction on an emergency basis without notice to you, the respondent. This means an officer could show up at your door and serve you with an order of protection, and the paperwork has very critical implications for your rights.
There are two aspects to note about your defense with domestic violence protective orders:
- You must contest the allegations that led to the order; AND
- You must avoid allegations that you violated the order after receiving it.
Both of these factors are within your control, and the first priority should be contacting a Wilmington domestic violence defense attorney. Some tips will also help support your case.
Carefully Review the Documents: A first detail to note is the date of the next hearing, which you will need to attend to mount your defense. Plus, depending upon what the petitioner alleged to the court to get the protective order, there are rules that you must follow. In most cases, you will be prevented from communicating with the petitioner and must stay away from that person’s residence, work, and school. This could mean you will be forced to relocate if you share a home with the petitioner.
Follow These Terms to the Letter: With respect to every provision telling you to do or NOT do something, you need to strictly comply. The order might also require you to not contact and stay away from children. There may be terms on not getting arrested for additional criminal activity, and you might need to avoid alcohol.
Use Caution on Social Media: You are no doubt frustrated, angry, and confused about the proceedings after receiving a domestic violence restraining order, but social media is not the place to vent. While the most effective tip is to not steer clear of all platforms, you should interact on a limited basis and only with close family and friends.
Prepare for the Next Hearing: Though you may not have had notice and been able to defend the allegations at an emergency proceeding, you do get your day in court. Within 15 days after issuing the order, the court must hold a full hearing. At this proceeding, you have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments to contradict the petitioner’s allegations. The judge will then decide whether to extend, modify, or cancel the restraining order.
Contact a Delaware Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Right Away
For additional tips on what to do after being served with a domestic violence injunction, please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica to set up a consultation. Individuals in New Castle County can schedule a consultation by calling 302.600.1262 or filling out our online form. We can provide additional legal details after discussing your case.