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Immediate Restraining Orders in Washington State

When family conflict escalates, it may result in accusations of domestic violence. Allegations of domestic violence are not taken lightly by Washington State authorities, as there are stiff penalties for those who are convicted on charges of domestic violence. In any event, some Spokane residents may find themselves in the situation of having a restraining order taken out against them.

In Washington, there are several different types of restraining orders. A person may obtain an order for protection, an order for protection against unlawful harassment or an order from the court preventing a spouse from legally owning a firearm. In some instances a person may secure what is known as an immediate restraining order against an individual. This is often down when a family law case has already started and one party believes the other party has threatened the safety of the first party.

In some instances, depending on the circumstances, the court may grant an immediate restraining order to a party on the same date as the party’s request; this may even be done without notice to the other party if authorities believe issuance of the immediate order is necessary for safety. However, it is possible for the party who would be on the receiving end of the restraining order to file a motion to alter or terminate the order prior to the hearing date. In other instances, a restraining order will be granted only after a hearing and with notification to the other party.

Regardless of whether a protective order is immediate or non-immediate, there are serious consequences for violating such an order. However, it’s not unusual for contact between the parties involved to occur, especially if the parties have children in common or have previously shared a residence or personal property. In any case, it may be immensely helpful for a person accused of violating a temporary restraining order, or any other type of restraining order, to obtain legal advice before making any decisions. A local criminal defense attorney can advise on next steps and further options.

Source: Washington State Courts, “Immediate Restraining Order,” accessed May 14, 2016

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