Receiving a restraining order might feel unfair, shameful and embarrassing for many people. What can be more troubling though are the implications it can have for marriage, child custody, legal record and job. Find out what legal options are available to you and how you should respond to a restraining order in New Mexico. 


If you’ve been served a restraining order, contact Albuquerque’s best Divorce, Custody, and Domestic Violence attorneys by clicking here or calling us at (505)-317-4455.  


What Is A Restraining Order? 

A restraining order is a temporary court order that prohibits someone in most cases from contacting or approaching someone else. In New Mexico, there are two basic categories of restraining orders, Protection Orders and Civil Restraining Orders. Protection Orders come in different types and generally deal with domestic violence. However, orders of protection can be issued even if no domestic violence has occurred. An Emergency Order can be granted after a policeman or sheriff requests one from the courts. This can usually be done after law enforcement is called to respond to an incident of domestic violence. You can get an emergency order without a court hearing and without the accused abuser’s knowledge, however an emergency order only lasts 72 hours, so it should be treated as a very temporary solution. A temporary protection order, or TPO, is designed to prevent contact until you and your accuser have your court hearing for a permanent domestic order. Like an emergency order, a temporary protection order can be granted without a hearing and without the accused abuser knowing. Usually, a hearing will be held within 10 days of the order being granted and you will be notified of the upcoming hearing. Unlike an emergency order, a victim can apply for a TPO themselves. A permanent order of protection can only be granted after a hearing in which both sides are able to present evidence and testimony. Permanent Order can last up to 6 months or longer if support or custody issues are involved. They can be renewed once they expire. A civil restraining order is used in cases where there is no domestic relationship and can carry similar consequences.

What Are My Options in Court? 

Your initial legal options are to either admit the allegations and accept the order of protection or deny the allegation and agree with the order of protection. If you are issued a temporary protection order, the judge will typically set a hearing within 10 days to establish if a permanent order of protection is needed.  If a permanent order of protection is filed against you, there will be a formal hearing where both sides can present arguments and testimony. If children and custody issues are involved, a judge may grant this order to last up to 6 months, or they can assign another expiration date based on their discretion. Other injunctive orders can be granted and can stay in place after the permanent order of protection expires. 


Will A Restraining Order Go On My Record?

If a permanent order of protection is issued, it will go on your record. This means it will show up in background checks and any other legal case you might have in the future. That's why it is vital to consult an attorney as soon as you become aware of a pending restraining order or order of protection. Failure to do so could have serious future repercussions for you and your family. 


Will A Restraining Order Affect My Job? 

In short, yes, a restraining order could impact your current or future employment. This largely depends on the details of your case and the type of job you have. Domestic violence is generally treated very seriously by many employers. This is especially true for state and federal government jobs and the military. A permanent restraining order will likely be an issue for anyone who needs to obtain a security clearance. If you have firearms, you will have to involuntarily remove them from your possession. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible to limit the impact that a restraining order or order of protection could have on your career. 


Can I lose My Children?

If a Temporary Order of Protection (TPO) or a Permanent Order of Protection is filed against you, the court can, and likely will, award your spouse or extemporary child custody. In cases involving a permanent order of protection, the judge may also award child or spousal support and law out visitation guidelines. This is why if children are involved it is even more important to work with an attorney as factors like custody, visitation and support will also be involved. 

Will I Have To Move Out Of My Home? 

Depending on the details of your case and the type of restraining order filed against you, you may be required to grab your essentials and leave your home immediately. In this case, you will likely be escorted by law enforcement into the home for a brief period of time to grab a few personal items. Again, contact an attorney as soon as you become aware of any restraining order that has been or will be filed against you. Doing so early on could prevent you from being removed from your home, or can get you back in the home if you have been forced to leave. 


There are many ways a restraining order or order of protection can impact you and your family’s life. Your job, your record, your children and your home are all potentially at risk. However, consulting an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer early on in the process can limit or even eliminate many of these dangers. Genus Law specializes in family law and domestic violence issues in Albuquerque and Las Cruces, New Mexico. If you’ve had a restraining order filed against you, or you believe one will be filed, contact our experienced divorce attorneys at (505) 317-4455 or chat with a representative online to start solving your problem today. 

Anthony Spratley
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Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Guardianship Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond