People tend to use the phrase “restraining order” to describe a myriad of court orders designed to protect alleged victims. Knowing the different types of restraining orders and how they affect you can help you build a better defense.
While there are numerous types of restraining orders, many of them fall under the following three broad categories, restraining, protective, and no-contact orders. While these orders sometimes overlap, each might have different restrictions and apply under different circumstances. In addition, we might need to apply different strategies to challenge different orders. Since different kinds of restraining orders carry different terms and conditions and apply under different circumstances, there might be numerous ways in which you can challenge an order issued against you. Many of these orders interfere with defendants’ lives and livelihoods in very unfair ways, but they can be challenged in court and possibly thrown out.
Schedule a free review of your case with our Bountiful, UT criminal defense attorneys at Overson & Bugden by calling (801) 758-2287.
Types of Restraining Orders in Utah
The phrase “restraining order” is often used more colloquially to refer to a wide variety of court orders. While restraining orders are one possible court order issued to protect alleged victims, there are others that come with different terms and conditions.
Restraining orders are usually issued as part of a larger case. A person cannot petition a court for a restraining order if there is no case attached. For example, a judge might issue a restraining order in a personal injury lawsuit to prevent one party from doing something to jeopardize the case, but the plaintiff could not request the order without also having a case in court.
For example, suppose a plaintiff files a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident, but the defendant is so angry that they will not stop contacting the defendant and harassing them to drop the case. In that case, the judge could issue a restraining order to keep the defendant from contacting the plaintiff.
Restraining orders are broad and may be applied to numerous behaviors that are not necessarily criminal. For example, you and a neighbor might be in a dispute over where your neighbor can build their fence. A restraining order might prevent the neighbor from beginning construction on the fence until the case is complete. Restraining orders are less common in cases involving criminal violence.
Restraining orders of this type are also commonly used in business cases even when no physical harm is involved. Contact a Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer.
A protective order may be issued as an independent court order and is not necessarily connected to a case. They are often used in cases where someone claims they are at risk of violence or they fear for their safety.
Protective orders may be issued for a number of cases, including the following:
- Child protective orders
- Domestic violence
- Sexual or dating violence
- Stalking and harassment
Protective orders are varied, and each comes with unique criteria that a petitioner must meet. For example, to obtain a dating violence protective order under Utah Code § 78B-7-403, a petitioner must show that there is a significant chance of abuse or dating violence at the hands of a dating partner.
Similarly, a cohabitant abuse protective order under Utah Code § 78B-7-6 may be issued when a cohabitant, meaning someone who lives with you, convinces the court they are at substantial risk of abuse or violence from the person they live with. No other case needs to be attached to these orders, and the person bound by the order might not necessarily be criminally charged.
No Contact Orders
No-contact orders are common in criminal cases, especially those involving domestic violence. These orders, sometimes called criminal protective orders, may be issued before or after a defendant is convicted of certain criminal offenses.
Under the law, when a defendant is arrested for a qualifying offense, and before they are released, they are forbidden from calling, contacting, or communicating with the alleged victim under a no-contact order. All this occurs before the defendant is even out on trial. In many cases, wrongfully accused defendants bound by no-contact orders are completely cut off from their partners and families.
No-contact orders may be issued ex parte, meaning they are issued in the defendant’s absence, and they are not afforded a chance to speak out in their defense. These kinds of no-contact orders are usually short-lived, and a hearing will be scheduled to decide whether to make the order more long-term. The defendant will be allowed to appear at this hearing. The order could become long-term or permanent if the defendant is found guilty.
Challenging Different Types of Restraining Orders in Utah
If you have found yourself subject to a restraining, protective, or no-contact order, your life might be severely impacted in a very negative way. Many people cannot contact their children after their partner gets a court order keeping them away. While the situation is certainly not good, there are ways to challenge these orders.
One method is to demonstrate to the court that the order keeping you away is not necessary. Many orders are based on claims by the alleged victim that they are in imminent danger or at substantial risk of harm. If we can show that you do not pose any risk of harm to the other person, the court might be inclined to drop the order.
We might also be able to challenge the order if the other person obtained the order in bad faith or lied to the court. It is not unusual for scorned partners to use the courts for revenge or retaliation. For example, one partner might make false claims of domestic abuse to get a protective order against you as a way to keep you from your own children. If we can prove their claims are false, we might be able to get the order overturned or dismissed.
Call Our Utah Criminal Defense Attorneys for Help Now
Schedule a free evaluation of your claims with our North Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer at Overson & Bugden by calling (801) 758-2287.