If you have been issued with a restraining order you can apply to have your restraining order removed, or have the terms of your order varied.
If you have been convicted of any criminal offence the Court can make a restraining order against you. The purpose behind the restraining order is to protect the complainant in the case from conduct which amounts to harassment, or conduct that will cause a fear of violence.
The Court also has the power under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, section 5A, to make a restraining order after a defendant has been acquitted of any offence if the court considers it necessary to make a restraining order to protect a person from harassment.
Getting a Restraining Order
The burden of evidence is that it must be “more likely than not” that a restraining order is required. The standard of evidence is therefore lower that during a criminal trial, and restraining orders are quite often granted against both convicted and acquitted defendants.
Breach of a restraining order can result in a maximum prison sentence of up to 5 years. It is therefore very important for anyone with a restraining order to abide by its terms, as the consequences of a breach can be severe.
Removing a Restraining Order
The law allows a defendant, or anyone mentioned in a restraining order, to apply for it to be varied or removed.
Sometimes a restraining order may have been imposed at the end of a relatively minor assault case, or low level allegation of harassment.
In these types of cases, often tempers die down, and the parties want to reconcile. In these circumstances we will be able to assist either the victim named in the restraining order, or the defendant.
Restraining Orders and DBS Certificates
Along with serious consequences, such as imprisonment for breach of a restraining order, a restraining order will also have a serious impact on a DBS check, including a basic DBS check.
A post-conviction restraining order will be disclosed on a basic DBS check (and on an enhanced and standard DBC certificate) until the end of the order, if a date is specified when the restraining order is to end.
Indefinite Restraining Order
If there is no date given on the restraining order, then the restraining order will become spent 2 years from the date of conviction.
If however the restraining order states that it is ‘unlimited’, ‘indefinite’ or is issued until ‘until further order’, then it will never become spent. It will only become spent if the restraining order is revoked (removed) or amended to give it a finite time-frame.
A restraining order issued post-acquittal will be immediately spent, but may continue to be disclosed as ‘relevant information’ on an enhanced DBS check.
How to Remove a Restraining Order
In order to apply to the court to revoke or vary a restraining order, there must be a change of circumstances since the order was made. If everything remains the same, then it is unlikely that the court will be willing to remove or vary the restraining order. A change or circumstances is case specific and so each case will be determined on its own merits.
In applying to remove or to vary a restraining order, an application must set out what material circumstances have changed, and why the restraining order should be revoked or varied.
Court Restraining Order Applications
The person applying to remove or vary the order must notify the court and prosecutor of the evidence that they seek to rely on.
An application to revoke or vary a restraining order may be decided without a hearing. The Court however may only do so if the applicant has been given an opportunity (at least 14 days) to make representations (whether or not they attend a hearing) including giving parties an opportunity to make representations as to whether there should be a hearing or not.
If there is to be a hearing to decide the matter, all parties concerned must be given notice of the hearing.
Removal of a Restraining Order
All the evidence submitted to the court and prosecutor to secure the removal or amendment of a restraining order must be carefully prepared.
If a court hearing is required, you will most likely need expert legal representation to ensure your evidence is presented to the court in the best possible light. Also witnesses may need to be expertly cross examined.
It is important that an application to remove or vary a restraining order is made correctly. If an application is made incorrectly, or is not properly prepared, the court will be unsympathetic to your application.
Restraining Order Solicitors
At present our expert lawyers are not taking on any new restraining order cases. As soon as we do, we will update this page.
If you have any request about any of the services offered on our site, then please get in touch.