Defending Against the Types of Personal Protection Orders in Massachusetts

Defending Against the Types of Personal Protection Orders in Massachusetts

Facing a Personal Protection Order (PPO) in Massachusetts can be a daunting and stressful experience. These orders, while designed to protect individuals from harassment, abuse, or threats, can sometimes be misused or based on misunderstandings. Understanding how to defend against different types of PPOs is crucial for anyone accused of such actions.

Defending Against the Types of Personal Protection Orders in Massachusetts

Facing a Personal Protection Order (PPO) in Massachusetts can be a daunting and stressful experience. These orders, while designed to protect individuals from harassment, abuse, or threats, can sometimes be misused or based on misunderstandings. Understanding how to defend against different types of PPOs is crucial for anyone accused of such actions. This article provides an overview of the types of PPOs in Massachusetts and strategies for defending against them.

Types of Personal Protection Orders

Massachusetts law recognizes several types of protection orders, each catering to different situations:

  1. Abuse Prevention Orders (209A Orders): These are issued to protect individuals from abuse by a family or household member. Abuse can include physical harm, attempts to cause harm, placing someone in fear of imminent serious physical harm, or causing someone to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat, or duress.
  2. Harassment Prevention Orders (258E Orders): These orders protect individuals from harassment by anyone, regardless of their relationship to the harasser. Harassment is defined as three or more acts that cause fear, intimidation, abuse, or damage to property, or one act of forced sexual relations.

Strategies for Defending Against a PPO

If you are served with a PPO, it is essential to take immediate and appropriate action. Here are some strategies for defending against these orders:

  1. Seek Legal Counsel: Engaging an experienced attorney is critical. An attorney can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal process, and develop a strong defense strategy.
  2. Gather Evidence: Collect any evidence that supports your case. This may include text messages, emails, phone records, witness statements, and any other documentation that can demonstrate your side of the story.
  3. Attend the Hearing: It is crucial to attend the court hearing. Failing to appear can result in the PPO being granted by default. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your evidence and testimony.
  4. Challenge the Allegations: During the hearing, challenge the accuracy and credibility of the allegations against you. Point out inconsistencies, lack of evidence, or any motivations the plaintiff might have for filing a false claim.
  5. Present Character Witnesses: If possible, bring witnesses who can testify to your character and behavior. This can help counter the plaintiff’s claims and provide the judge with a more balanced view.
  6. Demonstrate Compliance: Show that you have complied with any temporary orders and that you pose no threat to the plaintiff. This can demonstrate your willingness to abide by the law and mitigate the perceived risk.

Specific Defenses for 209A Orders

For Abuse Prevention Orders, specific defenses may include:

  • Lack of Evidence: Demonstrate that there is insufficient evidence to support the claims of abuse.
  • False Allegations: Provide evidence that the allegations are false or exaggerated, possibly motivated by custody disputes, revenge, or other personal reasons.
  • Self-Defense: If applicable, show that any physical actions were taken in self-defense or defense of others.

Specific Defenses for 258E Orders

For Harassment Prevention Orders, specific defenses may include:

  • Lack of Pattern: Argue that the alleged behavior does not constitute a pattern of harassment as defined by law (three or more acts).
  • Misinterpretation: Show that the plaintiff misinterpreted your actions or that your behavior was not intended to cause fear, intimidation, or abuse.
  • First Amendment Rights: If applicable, argue that your actions are protected under the First Amendment (freedom of speech).

Conclusion

Defending against a Personal Protection Order in Massachusetts requires a thorough understanding of the legal process and a strategic approach. Engaging experienced legal counsel, gathering evidence, attending hearings, and challenging allegations are critical steps in mounting a successful defense.

If you are facing a PPO, contact The Law Offices of Elliot Savitz & Scott Bradley. Our skilled attorneys have extensive experience in defending against protection orders and will work tirelessly to protect your rights and reputation. Call us today to schedule a consultation and ensure you have the best possible defense.

TESTIMONIALS

“Dear Mr Savitz, Thank you so much for all your hard work, as well as your persistence on my case. I really appreciate your sensitivity in dealing with me on this matter. I feel good about the outcome of my case and am grateful to you for resolving it quickly.”
“I wanted to thank you again. I’m at the end of my probation period. I could not have done it without you. You were such a great support. I just want to let you know I appreciated everything you did.”
“Dear Elliot, Just a short note filled with heartfelt thanks for your help and support in my defense during my court appearance. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am knowing this foolish incident and its aftermath is finally over. Thank again, so very much.”
“We were absolutely astonished and very grateful for how Elliot handled our son’s case and would highly recommend him to anyone who is in need of legal council!”
“I’m sitting here thinking about what a remarkable victory you pulled off. I just had to let you know that it was an outstanding victory. Well done.”
“Thank you for representing me in court. Everything worked out for the better. I have been attending all my AA meetings, consulting at Catholic Charities and meeting with my probation officer. I haven’t had a drink since the day I went to court and everything is great at home.”
“I cannot begin to tell you how much I’ve appreciated your most sincere guidance & support. This has been one of the most difficult years we’ve been through with our son. We could not have hoped for a more positive outcome.”
“Dear Elliot, People are not immune to the ‘fortune’ in their life. The bright side is that someone is out there to save them. You are the person saving my fate. You represent ‘integrity and justice.’ You are the best lawyer on earth.”
“I really wanted to thank you so much. I cannot thank you enough. You were always there to fulfill whatever was required by the court.”

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