Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders

Providence Area Lawyer Protecting Families Impacted by Domestic Abuse

IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER, call 911 or seek help at a shelter. If you need help with an affidavit or seek representation in court for an evidentiary hearing, contact my Cranston law office . I'm Rhode Island family lawyer William Balkun . I am committed to helping people whose lives have been affected by family violence – husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, sibling violence or child abuse.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence?

In my 30 years of practicing family law, I've heard more than one person say, "I didn't assault her/him, I just … drove by his house (a lot), called her phone (repeatedly), followed him, waited for her after work…. All of these things can count as domestic abuse. A person can request a restraining order for:

  • Physical assault
  • Psychological abuse
  • Stalking or cyber stalking
  • Verbal or written threats
  • Harassment (including repeated phone calls, text messages or emails)

How to Get a Restraining Order

When it comes to obtaining a restraining order, Rhode Island is a little different than other states. A person can get a restraining order in Family Court, District Court or, if the parties are strangers (such as creditors), in Superior Court. A restraining order is a civil court response, but it also involves a criminal charge.

You can get a restraining order the same day you request one if you have prepared your paperwork. You will need to file an affidavit. In four Rhode Island counties, a domestic violence advocate can help you with that. You can also do it on your own or, if you are too afraid to go alone, I will go with you and will prepare your affidavit for you.

Defense Against Restraining Orders

A domestic abuse or assault charge can have serious consequences. If you have been served with a restraining order, talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Within 21 days there will be an evidentiary hearing to establish the facts and to determine if the restraining order will be made "permanent" (lasting a year or more).

Just because someone got a restraining order against you, that does not mean you did what he or she said you did. In some cases, the accused is actually the victim. I defend clients in civil and criminal cases of domestic abuse.

Call a Cranston Domestic Violence and Family Law Attorney.

Contact The Law Office of William J. Balkun online or call 401-463-5106.



I represent clients throughout Rhode Island including Cranston, Warwick, Providence, East Providence, Johnston, Smithfield, Lincoln, Barrington, East Greenwich, Cumberland, North Providence, North Kingstown, Warren, West Greenwich, North Smithfield, Scituate, Pawtucket, West Warwick, Woonsocket, Glocester, and Tiverton.