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What are the consequences of a restraining order?

| Oct 29, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

After someone petitioned for a restraining order against you, your mind likely turned to the restrictions you could face. No matter whether you committed the acts you were accused of, the order could upend your routines and relationships. The possibility of these outcomes may frighten you. Yet, you can work to protect yourself by knowing what exactly a restraining order will keep you from doing.

The effects of restraining orders in Wisconsin

If the restraining order petitioned against you relates to accusations of child abuse, it will last for up to two years if granted. Yet, it may relate to accusations of harassment or domestic abuse. In these cases, the restraining order petitioned against you will last for up to four years if granted.

After petitioning for a restraining order – and before the court grants it – the petitioner will receive temporary protection against you. A temporary restraining order prevents you from:

  • Abusing or harassing the petitioner
  • Contacting the petitioner directly or through a third party that is not an attorney or law enforcement official
  • Visiting or going near the petitioner’s place of residence, even if you two share it
  • Removing, hiding or harming any pet you and the petitioner share

A final restraining order will uphold most of the temporary order’s provisions. Yet, it will also require you to surrender all firearms in your possession. The exception to this rule is if you are a peace officer and must use a gun as part of your job. Additionally, if you and the petitioner share a wireless phone plan, you must allow them off it if a final order goes into effect.

Keep in mind that both temporary and final restraining orders could impact your ability to see any children you and the petitioner share. While this outcome is all but certain with a child abuse order, it could happen with harassment and domestic abuse orders as well.

Restraining orders in Wisconsin help protect victims of abuse and harassment. Yet, they also cause the accused to face significant restrictions. An attorney with criminal defense experience can help you work to mitigate these after the issue of a temporary order – and before the issue of a final order.