Protective orders — also referred to as restraining orders — are meant to protect you against threats of harassment, physical harm, and sexual assault or abuse. Once a protective order is issued by the court, the defendant (the person against whom the order was issued) is required to abide by its terms and conditions, which if failed could result in criminal charges.
If you are harassed, threatened, or abused by someone in your family, someone with whom you have or had an intimate relationship, or any other third-party, top-rated family law attorney Jay Davis and his legal team at Davis Law Group can help you get a protective order and take steps to keep you and your loved ones safe from physical, sexual, and emotional harm.
Protective Orders in Massachusetts — What You Need to Know
Protective orders in Massachusetts can be classified into two types — abuse prevention orders and harassment prevention orders. You can get an abuse prevention order — which is also known as a 209A order — if you are subjected to abuse by a member of your family or household. Under Massachusetts law, the following categories of people can fit into the definition of the term “family member” or “household member”:
- Your current or ex-spouse
- A person whom you are currently dated or have dated before
- A person whom you are or were related to by marriage
- Your child’s other parent
- A blood relative
- A roommate whom you live with or used to live with
You can get an abuse prevention order against a family or household member under the following circumstances:
- If they physically harmed you or attempted to do so
- If they coerced or threatened you into having sex with them
- If they acted or behaved in such a way that you feared that there could be a risk of serious and imminent physical harm
You can get a harassment prevention order — which is also known as a 258E order — if you are subjected to harassment by someone who is not a member of your family or household. It could be a neighbor, co-worker, acquaintance, or any other third-party.
You can get a harassment prevention order against a third-party under the following circumstances:
- If they acted willfully and maliciously in order to harass you, intimidate you, abuse you, or to damage your property
- If they coerced you or threatened you into having a sexual relationship with them at least once
- If they committed one or more of the following criminal offenses against you at least once: criminal harassment, criminal stalking, enticement of a child, assault with intent to rape, drugging you to have sexual intercourse, indecent assault, and battery, rape, or statutory rape
If you are being subjected to harassment or abuse, it is important to act quickly and take steps to safeguard yourself and your loved ones. Trusted Massachusetts divorce lawyer Jay Davis can assess your situation, determine whether you are eligible to get a harassment or abuse prevention order, and guide you through the process of getting one.
What Are the Conditions That Can Be Imposed on the Defendant Under a Massachusetts Protective Order?
Depending on the circumstances, the court might impose the following conditions on the defendant.
- They cannot physically or sexually assault or abuse you
- They cannot do anything that might cause you to believe that there could be a risk of imminent physical harm
- They cannot coerce or threaten you into having sex with them
- They cannot live with you
- They cannot contact you in any way or through any means (including phone calls, text messages, emails, posting messages on social media, or through mutual friends, relatives, neighbors, or co-workers)
- They cannot get too close to you and must always maintain a distance of certain number of feet or yards (as specified in the order)
- They must stay away from your workplace
- They must compensate you for the costs associated with your treatment, therapy, lost earnings, changing locks, or moving to a new place
- They must surrender their firearms and cannot buy any new firearm as long as the protective order remains in effect
If the defendant violates one or more of the conditions imposed on them under a protective order, they can be arrested and face criminal charges.
Fearing for Your Safety? Our Massachusetts Protective Order Lawyers Can Help You
At Davis Law Group, we are committed to protecting the victims of stalking, harassment, and physical or sexual abuse by their own family members as well as other parties. If you are facing harassment or abuse, we can help you get an emergency protective order or an ex-parte protective order to ensure your safety and well-being. We can also help you get a long-term order or a permanent order — depending on the circumstances.
Our legal team, led by the seasoned divorce attorney Jay Davis, is known for its thorough understanding of Massachusetts’s family law, excellent negotiation and argumentation skills, and an outstanding track record of successful outcomes. We have decades of combined experience in handling cases related to harassment and abuse prevention orders.
To find out whether you are eligible to get a protective order and what your legal options are, call us today at (617) 752-6216 or get in touch with us online and schedule a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Massachusetts protective order attorney.The post How Do Protective Orders Work in Massachusetts? first appeared on Davis Law Group.