A Protective Order Against You in New Mexico – Now What?
In New Mexico, restraining orders, also known as protective orders, are designed to keep people safe from legitimately threatening people. It is common for victims of domestic abuse to seek protection from the courts to keep the abuser away from them and their homes and workplaces. This is what the law was designed for.
Sometimes though, individuals can use protective orders for vindictive or manipulative purposes. This can happen in a variety of circumstances, including break ups and pending divorces. One partner may use the protective order to garner sympathy or attention from family or friends, or as a bargaining chip for personal gain. The consequences can be severe for the person against whom the protective order has been filed.
If you have been served with a protective order to stay away from someone, this is what you need to know.
New Mexico Protective Order Process
A protective order is a written order issued by a judge that requires the person named in the order to stay away from the person asking for protection. New Mexico Statute 40-13-3 allows victims of domestic abuse to seek a protective order by filing a petition made under oath, along with a sworn affidavit, or statement, stating the specific facts about the alleged abuse.
Once the petition is filed, a judge will review the facts as presented by the person filing the petition (the “petitioner”), and will, in most cases, issue an emergency temporary protective order. A hearing will then be scheduled to occur within 10 days to determine whether a long-term protective order will be issued.
The person against whom the protective order is issued (the “respondent”) must be personally served with the temporary protective order (TPO). This is usually done by the sheriff’s department. The TPO is not enforceable if it is not personally served.
Against Whom Are Protective Orders Issued?
Protective orders are generally issued against:
- Former Spouses
- Current or ex-boyfriends/girlfriends
- Parents of a child
Protective orders may also be issued against individuals alleged to be stalking or who have sexually abused the person seeking the protective order.
I’ve Been Served With a Temporary Protective Order – What Should I Do?
If you have been served with a TPO, it’s natural that you may feel angry, hurt or confused. You may want to find answers as to why this is happening. The number one thing that you absolutely must not do is contact the person that is asking for protection. You will have the chance to tell your story and seek answers at the hearing. If you do try to contact the person who brought the order against you, you could be:
- put in jail
- facing additional charges
Whether the protective order is fair or not, the best thing that you can do is keep your cool and follow the order exactly. The next best thing that you can do is talk to an experienced New Mexico protective order attorney to find out what your next steps should be for the hearing. Understanding your rights can ease a lot of the anger and confusion that you might be feeling.
Contact the experts at the New Mexico Criminal Legal Offices today either online or at 505-200-2982 to protect your reputation, family and future.