Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record?

Differences Between Temporary and Permanent Restraining Orders

In terms of difficulty, getting a restraining order is similar to many other court processes. The process involves filing paperwork, going to a hearing, and waiting for a judge to make a decision. If you are in a predicament that requires a restraining order, Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C. has the expertise in this area to help you get the protection you need.

The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) estimates that two to three million initial restraining orders are issued per year. The most common reasons for restraining orders are when an abuser violates domestic violence laws, like harassment, assault, terroristic threats, and burglary. If you are on the receiving end of one of these orders, you might be wondering how this order will affect your life moving forward.

Restraining orders begin as a temporary order, and these are known as TROs. These types of restraining orders typically expire in 14 days unless they are extended for another 14 days or unless the party against whom the order is directed consents that it can be extended for a longer period of time. The judge can also issue a permanent restraining order after 14 days based on the facts presented during a hearing. Technically, permanent restraining orders are a misnomer because they usually only last between three to five years.

In terms of who can see the existing order, temporary restraining orders will be visible to law enforcement. They are contained in part of law enforcement’s database and will remain there while active. This will assist the police in their ability to protect the individual who filed the order. Therefore, if you are pulled over or an officer runs a check on you, the restraining order will appear to the officer.

If the restraining order is denied at the hearing after the temporary order expires, the order will be expunged from your record. If the judge decides to establish a permanent restraining order, it will go on the record of the individual being restrained.

How a Restraining Order Can Affect Your Life

If the judge decides that the restraining order should be “permanent,” it will typically be in place for five years. If the individual who has filed the order would like it to be in place for longer than five years, they will need to ask the court to renew the order before it ends. A renewal can make the restraining order last another five years. If the person who filed the order lets it expire, and you did not violate the order during the time it was in place, you can be eligible to have the order expunged from your record, at which point it should not show up on a background check.

While the order is still in place, it will be considered public record. However, in order to obtain a copy of it, someone would have to request it from the court clerk of the county where the order was issued and pay the fees associated with copying and processing it. A general criminal background check conducted by an employer or a landlord should not show a restraining order because it is a civil matter. More in-depth criminal background checks, like the ones conducted by the military or for security clearance, will show a restraining order. It is also possible that expired restraining orders will appear in these extensive checks. 

If the protective order was issued along with criminal charges, the background check would reveal those charges and the outcome of the case. For example, if you are issued a restraining order and were charged with assault, that charge would show up on a background check as long as it is on your record.

Furthermore, if you violate a restraining order, it becomes a criminal matter. If you violate the terms of a restraining order and are taken to court, you will need to plead guilty or not guilty. If the court finds you guilty, you can be fined for approximately $5,500 or be imprisoned for two years. It is more likely that the court will find you guilty if the breach involved physical violence or if there is a history of domestic violence in the case.

Overall, having a restraining order filed against you is not a good situation to be in, but there are steps you can take to make it less impactful on your life. One of the best ways to reduce these effects on your life is to follow the terms of the order. This will help you avoid further legal issues and help prevent the restraining order from impacting your life more than necessary.

To learn more about the details of restraining orders, call Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C. at (719) 212-4227 or contact us online.

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