Restraining Orders in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque Restraining Order Lawyers
A restraining order can wreak havoc on your life. If a restraining order is issued against you, for example, you could be barred from your own home, lose the right to see your children, or even be prevented from showing up for work. A restraining order can be issued temporarily (for a few days) without you even having the right to oppose it in court.
A restraining order typically orders you to refrain from all contact with your accuser, and it might even require that you maintain a certain distance (100 yards, for example). New Mexico restraining orders can be divided into two three classes: (i) criminal restraining orders, (ii) civil restraining orders, and (iii) domestic violence (DV) orders of protection.
Criminal Case Restraining Orders
One type of restraining order is issued in the midst of a criminal case. This is where the judge prohibits any contact with a victim or with witnesses.
Civil Restraining Orders
Another type of restraining order arises when someone alleges that he or she is the victim of harassment or another type of harmful behavior, and that an immediate restraining order is needed to prevent irreparable harm to the victim. This type of restraining order is issued (if at all) in response to a request for a preliminary injunction. It usually lasts for about 10 days until the court can hold an adversarial hearing on the question of whether or not to issue a preliminary injunction, which is more permanent.
Domestic Violence (DV) Restraining Orders
An accuser can obtain a DV restraining order by alleging that they are a victim of domestic violence, which must have been committed against them by a “household member.” Under New Mexico domestic violence law, a “household member” is a spouse, family member, or another person with whom the accused is involved in an ongoing personal relationship.
Definition of “Domestic Violence”
Once upon a time, “domestic violence” referred to physical abuse causing injury. The definition, however, has been greatly expanded and can now include acts or words that cause severe emotional distress, sexual assault, threatening words, criminal trespassing, damage to property, “stalking” behavior, or threatened harm to children. Theoretically, even the use of insulting language can be classified as domestic violence.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who can obtain a DV protection order?
Anyone who alleges that he or she has been abused by a household member can petition a court for a DV restraining order against a current or former “household member.” The abuse should have occurred within 30 days of filing the petition, and the petitioner must reasonably anticipate further abuse if the order is not issued.
What is the specific procedure for obtaining a DV protection order? Am I allowed to oppose it in court?
Any “household member” who accuses you of domestic violence can seek an emergency order of protection at an ex parte hearing (a hearing that takes place outside of your presence).The order expires in 72 hours, and if your accuser wants to extend the duration of the order, he or she must prevail at an adversarial hearing where you are entitled to present your side of the story.
A DV restraining order can be issued against you before you are even convicted of a crime. Since it is considered a civil matter (not a criminal matter), the burden of proof that must be met to justify the order is lower than in criminal court. However, you can still be arrested for violating it, and you can be convicted even if you are eventually acquitted of the underlying domestic violence charge.
What are some mistakes that defendants commonly make when faced with a restraining order?
Three of the most common mistakes are:
- Getting rid of unfavorable evidence. You could be arrested for this. Even if you haven’t been arrested, it will make you look bad.
- Trying to contact the accuser or the accuser’s potential witnesses.
- Violating an order of protection, civil restraining order, or other court order.
Take Prompt and Decisive Action
If a restraining order has been filed against you, you are likely to have two problems: the restraining order itself; and the accusation upon which the restraining order is based, which could lead to criminal charges against you. This is no time to play around – you need legal assistance immediately. Contact our Albuquerque restraining order lawyers to discuss the matter.
If a restraining order has been issued against you in Albuquerque, New Mexico, or if you anticipate such a scenario, call New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve clients from Academy Heights, Jade Park, Seville, The Aspens, and elsewhere in Albuquerque. We can also visit you in jail if this becomes necessary.