Relief From Abuse Defense

A violation of even a temporary RFA can result in criminal charges so it is very important that you follow the conditions and contact us as soon as possible.

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If you have been served with a Vermont Relief from Abuse Order, or with a notice of hearing, you are the Defendant. You should immediately contact an attorney at Burke Law to review the temporary RFA and ensure that you are following all the conditions. A violation of even a temporary RFA can result in criminal charges so it is very important that you follow the conditions and contact us as soon as possible.

In Vermont, a Relief From Abuse Order, or “RFA,” is an order from the court which is used to stop violent, harassing and threatening behavior. First, determine if an RFA is right for you. If it is, follow our tips for filing a Relief from Abuse.

Any family or household member may seek relief from abuse by another family or household member on behalf of himself or herself or his or her children by filing a complaint with the court in the Vermont county that the abuse occurred. 15 V.S.A. § 1103(a).

Who qualifies for an RFA? 

  • Are you a “family” or “household member”?
    • A family member
    • A current or former sexual parter
    • Someone you date or used to date
    • Someone who lives with you or used to live with you
  • Have you suffered “abuse” from this family or household member?
    • Attempting to cause or causing physical harm
    • Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm
    • Abuse to children, as defined in the statutes (33 V.S.A. § 4912)
    • Stalking, as defined in the statute (2 V.S.A. § 5131)
    • Sexual assualt, as defined in the statute (12 V.S.A. § 5131)
  • AND, Is there a danger of further abuse if an RFA is not issued? 

If you answered yes to each of these questions, you likely qualify for an RFA and should contact Burke Law to speak with an attorney who can assist you in filing for an RFA with the court in the county where the abuse occurred.

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Our team has decades of combined experience working within the local courts in Vermont. Our relationships with prosecutors and judges help us to make sure our clients get the best outcomes possible.

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