Definition of Restraining Orders

The term “restraining order” is familiar to many people in the general public. Between pop culture, uses in the media, and family situations themselves, restraining orders are truly a more common legal term than many others. However, there is still a lot of nuance under the complicated legal umbrella, and it’s important to understand the true nature of this practice. Take a look at this breakdown and definition of restraining orders and how to take the next steps when tackling a criminal case or protective order Fairfax.


In the United States, there are five main types of restraining orders. First, there is a restraining order to protect against domestic violence. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common types of restraint and one form that many people are familiar with. Depending on the state, this can apply to married people, couples in long-standing relationships, family members, or people in complicated, intimate relationships. Secondly, there are restraining orders specifically for victims of sexual assault. This is separate from a domestic categorization due to the possibility that two parties may not be closely familiar with one another. Thirdly, there are harassment statutes to protect people that may not even know each other formally but to protect the party that may be being stalked or followed. Lastly, there are a few different types of extreme restraining orders that vary from state to state. For example, some states have specific restraining order measures against firearms.

Next Steps

When a person either wants to serve or defend against a restraining order, the first step is to consult or find a lawyer. There are many extremely confusing, small and specific parts of the legal process that are truly best navigated by a professional. For people that would like to issue a restraining order or defend against one that they believe has been wrongfully issued, a legal team will be critical.