If you think you are dealing with domestic violence, it is crucial for you to know your rights to protection. You might have questions about filing a restraining order, including where you file, what it entails and if you are dealing with what the law terms as domestic abuse. The purpose of this post is to answer all of these questions and give you a path to safety.
Your well-being is the top priority in this type of situation. Keep reading to learn about domestic violence restraining orders in Rhode Island.
Legal definition of domestic violence
As a victim, you might not be fully aware of the illegality of the behavior against you. Perhaps your abuser has manipulated you or convinced you otherwise. If someone is doing the following acts against you, you may be able to file a restraining order:
- Causing or attempting to cause you physical injuries
- Threatening you with immediate physical harm
- Stalking you, including online cyberstalking
- Coercing, threatening or forcing you to have sexual intercourse
Victims often experience a combination of these forms of abuse. If you are dealing with this type of behavior, it is important for you to get help immediately.
Types of restraining orders
In Rhode Island, you can file a restraining order with either family court or district court depending on the nature of your relationship with the abuser. You may get a temporary order by filing a complaint when the court opens. The judge will review your chances of facing immediate and severe injuries, damages or losses.
If you wish to get a final restraining order, you must wait until after a court hearing where you and your abuser present testimony and evidence. A final order may last as long as three years. If you are in immediate danger and the courts are closed, you may be able to call your local police department and request an emergency restraining order that lasts until the next day.
Filing for a restraining order and presenting evidence at a court hearing can be stressful experiences to go through alone. Let a family law attorney help you as you focus on healing and protecting yourself.