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Frequently asked questions about Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) in Hawaii
Q: I’ve just been served with a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). Should I get a lawyer?
First, follow all the orders contained in it, such as not having any kind of contact with the petitioner. Even if you feel that you have a valid defense, follow the order completely. Then, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney licensed in the state of Hawaii immediately.
A hearing for a permanent order in a domestic violence case frequently follows soon after a TRO. A hearing is required to take place within 15 days of the date the TRO is filed. It’s essential to obey the temporary order and obtain legal counsel.
Q: What do I need to know about being served a TRO (temporary restraining order) in Hawaii?
Restraining orders are serious matters. If you are the subject of a restraining order, it deserves your immediate attention. You have important rights and hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Hawaii will help ensure that you know your rights and take appropriate action. If a person (known as “the petitioner”) asks a court to issue a restraining order against you because of alleged domestic violence or another domestic conflict, you are entitled to be notified of the request, to have a court hearing, and to defend yourself. You have the right to be represented by an attorney, although in restraining order proceedings, you are not entitled to free counsel or a court-appointed attorney.
It is extremely important to contact a seasoned attorney who frequently appears before the TRO judge because she will know what the judges consider abuse or domestic violence. The definition of domestic violence was recently updated by the legislature to include coercive control.
You should never ignore a restraining order request. Instead, you should get information about your rights and options, consult with a lawyer, and participate in the court process. Once a restraining order is entered, you can be charged with a crime if the protected party accuses you of violating the order. If a permanent order is issued, you will need to be aware of specific restrictions and laws that will then apply to you. For example the Order for Protection can have a significant impact on your custody or divorce case.
Q: How long does a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) last in Hawaii?
A TRO can only last for up to 90 days. If an Order for Protection is issued it can last for anywhere from 6 months to up to 10 years depending on the level of abuse.