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Father and son sentenced while under restraining order

The father and son previously placed under a restraining order to keep away from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin recently received another criminal sentence.

The father and son were recently convicted of harassing Palin's family lawyer with hundreds of threatening or obscene telephone calls to the lawyer, his colleagues and relatives. They were sentenced to 5 years of probation, and the son was additionally ordered to spend 180 days in a residential treatment center.

In the middle of the sentencing, the son interrupted with an outburst that the hearing was illegal and a violation of his civil rights. The judge warned the men that any violation of their probationary terms could carry severe consequences, including imprisonment for up to 2 years and additional criminal charges.

A restraining order, although usually issued in response to domestic violence charges, is not limited to that context. Regardless of how it arises, the social stigma associated with a restraining order can be very damaging, and may even cost you your job.

The consequences of violating a restraining order are intentionally severe. If convicted, you may face imprisonment, large fines, and other penalties. If you are subject to such an order, an attorney can advise you of your rights and obligations in regard to your status so that you remain in compliance.

If you are charged with a violation, an attorney can prepare your best defense and be your advocate at the hearing, helping you to avoid any consequences. An attorney may also be able to get the hearing cancelled before it even happens. If a violation is found, an attorney may be able to negotiate alternatives to jail time.

Source: Reuters, "Father, son get probation for harassing Palin attorney," Yereth Rosen, June 8, 2012

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