Domestic violence is a horrible experience. It’s easy to wish for another solution, and it’s tempting to try to fix the marriage. This outcome is rare, and you should do whatever is necessary to move on from this relationship. If are suffering from this abuse, contact the authorities as soon as possible and tell them you need a restraining order.
Each state has slight variations on its types of restraining orders (also called “protective orders” and “orders of protection”) and the behaviors they restrict.
Here are some facts about Tennessee’s restraining orders and how they can protect you.
Who Can Get a Restraining Order in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, restraining orders protect victims of:
- Domestic Abuse
- Sexual Assault
Protective orders against stalking can be broken down into specific definitions and criteria.
Tennessee’s Two Kinds of Restraining Orders
There are two general types of protective orders in the state. Each depends on how urgently you need protection and the protection you require.
“Ex Parte” Orders of Protection
These are often called “emergency” protective orders. Courts can order them on nights and weekends, and police can generally put the order in right away. These orders are designed to give immediate protection against an abuser.
The alleged abuser cannot defend themselves against these orders. If the authorities believe you need protection, they will issue the order and notify the abuser later.
In Tennessee, ex parte orders last for 15 days. When you can secure this order, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. You and your lawyer can use these 15 days to prepare for the next level of protection, an extended restraining order.
“Extended” Orders of Protection
Issuing an extended order of protection can look like a courtroom trial. Tennessee allows the accused to appear before the court and defend themselves. They are allowed representation, and they can introduce evidence, witnesses, and so on.
These orders last one year with the possibility of an extension. As long as you need protection from this person, you can continue to have the order renewed.
What Restraining Orders Do in Tennessee
There are many ways protective orders can keep you safe. Often, they prohibit your abuser from threatening you, stalking you, attacking you, and so on.
These behaviors, of course, are already illegal. A protective order allows for a quicker response against these crimes. If someone attacks you, you must accuse them of assault or battery, and the police must investigate that specific crime. If, however, someone attacks you while under a restraining order, you can simply accuse them of violating the order. The penalty won’t be as severe as an assault charge, but it will send a clear message and help keep your abuser away.
Restraining orders can also order or prohibit other behaviors, such as:
- Keeping your abuser from contacting you in any way, even indirectly
- Removing your abuser’s child custody rights
- Forcing the abuser to pay for child and/or spousal support
- Removing your abuser’s access to the family home
- Forcing your abuser to pay for court costs related to the order
- Forcing your abuser to attend therapy, counseling, or substance abuse rehab
- Restricting your abuser’s right to bear arms
- Giving you sole ownership of the family pet
Not all restraining orders will include every stipulation above. Each order is tailored to the needs of the victim.
If you need extended protection against an abuser, contact our firm right away for help. You can call us now at (931) 361-4477 or reach us online.