The criminal court issues a restraining order against physical or sexual abuse, stalking, harassment, or threats. The person who files to obtain the order is the protected person. Alternatively, the person for whom the order is filed in the restrained person. Violation of the restraining orders attracts severe penalties. If you receive a notice of the restraining order, you want to speak with an attorney conversant with California laws, including domestic violence.
At Chula Vista Criminal Attorney, we have handled several restraining order cases throughout Chula Vista, CA. Our attorneys have deep experience in defending and seeking restraining orders of all kinds. We work aggressively with our clients, from drafting the relevant paperwork to conducting the court restraining order hearing. Note that we offer unmatched services to our clients, which is why you should work with us.
Understanding Restraining Orders
Restraining orders include move-away orders, personal conduct orders, or stay-away orders. The personal orders disallow you from performing certain activities. The activities include stalking, attacking, or communicating with the alleged victim. The law enforcement officers can rearrest you when you violate the restraining orders. The law prohibits you from all the ways of communication with the protected person, including phone, social media, or in-person.
When the court issues a stay-away order, the protected person should keep a distance from the restrained person. For example, the criminal court may recommend the protected victim stay around 100 yards from the restrained person. When a move away is a condition of the order, the law requires the restrained to stay away from the victim.
When you violate the conditions of the orders, and the protected person notifies the criminal court, the jury may inflict tougher measures. But the victim must provide evidence to show you violated the conditions of the orders. This evidence may include photographs, text messages, and emails, among other documents. When you and the victim live in the same location, the law may require both of you to move to different places immediately after the issuance of the restraining orders.
Issuing a restraining order after domestic violence can affect your daily life in several ways. For example, you may never visit your family members in the future. Also, the order may limit your interaction with other people. In other cases, the criminal court may recommend you have supervised child visitation. This recommendation might bring expenses since you will have to hire someone to supervise you whenever you want to visit your children. The court may prohibit you from visiting the children if you cannot afford a paid visitation.
The restraining orders' length varies based on your case's circumstance. For example, when the court imposes a permanent restraining order, the order may last for its entire life. So it is recommended you seek legal help from your criminal defense attorney when a restraining order is issued against you. Remember, in every criminal case. A well-skilled attorney is highly recommended for the case's success.
Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders
For the court to issue a restraining order by citing domestic abuse, the court must prove the petitioner committed domestic abuse. Domestic violence covers both emotional and physical abuse. Again the abused and the abuser must share an intimate relationship. Intimate relationship describes people who are married, dated or dating, and domestic partners. As per the California laws, the domestic abuse includes:
- Attempting or hurting a person intentionally or recklessly
- Harassing, hitting, threatening, stealing, or destroying another person’s property
- Sexual assault
- Emotional or verbal abuse
- Threatening to cause harm to the victim
Domestic violence restraining orders are put in place by the government to protect people from suffering harm from people in a close relationship. The law allows someone to obtain a restraining order against a lost relative when the person keeps on threatening or abusing them.
Types Of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in California
The law provides several types of restraining orders. The type of the restraining order varies based on the restrained person and the form of violence committed by the abuser. In California, the criminal court judge may issue a restraining order for:
Elder Abuse Restraining Orders
A person filling the restraining order is above 65 years against someone committing financial or physical abuse. The order may also apply to persons above 18 years with mental disabilities. When your elderly parent is being taken advantage of by a caretaker, the elderly abuse restraining order is applicable. Again when your grandfather is facing an assault from your neighbor’s children when she takes her dog for a walk, you can file for restraining orders to ensure she receives the protection she deserves.
Are you worried because the caretaker is isolating your mentally disabled niece? You can file for the elder abuse restraining orders. Therefore when you feel your loved one aged 65 years and above is facing abuse, you want to speak with a domestic violence attorney lawyer. The attorney will help you learn more about elder abuse restraining orders and help ensure your loved one is protected from harm.
Civil Harassment Restraining Orders
The order is filed by a person not covered by a domestic violence restraining order. For example, when facing harassment from your neighbor, you may file for a restraining order. Also, when a stranger is stalking you, a civil harassment restraining order can help protect you. When a person keeps contacting you even though you have warned them from contacting you, you may also file for a CHRO. So, when you feel another person has harassed you, you need to contact your domestic violence attorney to help you seek the protection you deserve.
Workplace Restraining Order
An employer usually files the workplace restraining orders on behalf of their abused workers. In addition, the workplace restraining order protects the employees at their recent locations of work as well as at their future places of work. For example, when your saleslady faces assault from their customer, as an employer, you may file workplace violence restraining orders to ensure the employee is protected from the customers.
When a person has marked your store as threatening violence, a workplace violence restraining order may be recommended to ensure the assaulter stays away from the store. Therefore when you are an employee suffering workplace violence, you can speak with your domestic violence attorney to help you obtain a restraining order.
Types of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
The law provides various restraining orders issued after facing domestic violence abuse. They are listed below:
Emergency Protective Order
The judge issues an emergency protective order when they believe there is an immediate and present danger of domestic cases. The court issues you with an emergency protective order if arrested for domestic violence. The emergency protective order may be given by a criminal court judge, a commissioner, or any other judicial official at any time at the request of a law enforcement officer. EPO prohibits the suspect from communicating or contacting the victim. The orders act for five to seven days from the issue date until the suspect appears in court.
Stay Away Order
You receive the order when you initiate the criminal case and make the first appearance in court. The prosecuting attorney usually seeks a stay-away order from the judge. When domestic violence involves, the court will have jurisdiction over you until you complete probation. The stay-away order is valid as long as the domestic violence case is pending, or you are still serving your probation. Generally, the order prohibits you from contacting or communicating with the victim. Probation in domestic violence lasts 90 days from the conviction date. Therefore, a stay-away order may last for 90 days or more.
Temporary Restraining Order
The domestic violence complaint requests temporary restraining order. When the suspect of domestic violence has engaged in a marital relationship with the complainant at any time in the past, the suspect is issued a temporary restraining order. Alternatively, if the suspect has not been involved in a dating relationship with the complainant, the court issues a no harassment order. The domestic violence complainant has the burden. They are entitled to a judge and another judicial official to issue the temporary restraining order.
Why you Want to Hire an Experience Domestic Violence Lawyers
As per California laws, an arrest for domestic violence attracts actual jail terms, large fines, probation classes, and other punishment. Again, a restraining order based on domestic violence may attract sanctions and penalties. And for this reason, you want to have a lawyer with many years of experience handling domestic violence cases from the first day. A lawyer will represent you in refuting the accusations with their relevant arguments. Again, having an experienced attorney will help in increasing your chances of favorable outcomes.
What to do When Served With Restraining Order
You don't want to take restraining orders lightly, even when issued with a temporary restraining order. The order may require you to move out of your house to avoid contact with close people, including your children. You may face arrest, imprisonment, and a criminal conviction when you violate the order. Even if you were issued the order due to false accusations, you still want to follow the terms of the order. With an attorney, they will advise you on the next steps. Again the attorney may fight the order to convince the judge to drop or modify conditions in your order.
The Process of Obtaining Restraining Orders in California
As discussed above, restraining orders come in different ways. Although they vary, the orders are handled similarly. Every step of the legal process is essential. That’s why you want to speak with your domestic violence attorney to help you understand the process of obtaining a restraining order, as discussed below.
1. Filing for the Restraining Orders
As the person seeking the restraining orders, you will file for the orders at the appropriate filling location. The phase involves filing paperwork informing the judge why you require the restraining order. After you file the petition, the judge will simultaneously deny or grant a temporary restraining order. The judge will schedule a hearing on whether the judge denies or grants the order, and the judge will schedule a hearing.
2. Serving the Respondent
The court will send the respondent the necessary paperwork within five days of filing the petition. The process should be conducted through personal service. It means the petitioner must deliver all the necessary paperwork to the respondent. When the petitioner cannot serve the respondent within the required timeframe, the court can grant an extension to ensure the petitioner has enough time to serve the respondent.
3. The Domestic Violence Restraining Order Hearing
During the court hearing, the court allows the petitioner to make their case about why it should issue the restraining orders. The court allows the respondent to contradict and explain why the court should not impose the order. The party to win the case depends on the evidence the party presents before the civil court judge, the side the judge finds credible, and how intelligible and clear each side presents the case. For the best-case outcome, you want to hire a well-skilled and competent attorney to help you during the restraining order hearing.
4. Orders After the Court Hearing
After the restraining order hearing, the judge may grant the restraining orders for five years. Once the court issues the restraining orders, it is difficult for the judge to reexamine the case and revert the judgment. Alternatively, the judge may deny the orders based on the presented evidence. After denying the restraining orders, the court does not allow you to ask for another petition. Due to the nature of the court hearings, you should seek legal help from an experienced domestic violence attorney. The attorney will help you throughout the legal process.
Can the Court Lift the Restraining Orders
At times, the law allows the court to lift the restraining orders. The restraining order is usually lifted through a court process. Before the court lifts the orders, the judge will consider several factors. You, however, want to hire a criminal defense attorney to ensure you fight the case and file a motion for termination of the restraining orders. The motion includes the following:
- The reasons for lifting or removing the restraining orders
- The names of the involved parties
- The date when the court imposed the restraining orders
The reasons for having the restraining orders lifted or moved should show the two parties want to contact each other. The court should also witness that the petitioner agrees to let the court lift the orders and not be forced to remove or lift the restraining orders. After listening to both parties, the judge may investigate the presented evidence to determine whether to lift the restraining orders or not.
What are the Consequences of Violating Restraining Orders?
When you violate the provisions of the domestic violence restraining orders, your conduct may result in a criminal conviction with the possibility of a jail term. You want to consult your attorney to avoid the conviction. The conviction varies based on several factors, like the facts surrounding the case and the defendant's past criminal records.
Felony and Misdemeanor Penalties
When you violate any of the above domestic violence restraining orders, you will either face a felony or misdemeanor charge. A misdemeanor charge will attract penalties, including 12 months jail term and a fine of up to $1,000. When the victim sustains physical bodily injuries, the court can impose a minimum of a one-month jail term. A repeat offender will face a felony charge. The felony charge attracts a jail term of three years. Also, you can pay a fine not exceeding $10,000.
Contempt and Other Offenses
The criminal court can hold you in contempt of a domestic violence restraining order(DVRO), meaning you will face community service, pay a fine and remain behind bars. Other conducts of violence like domestic battery, false imprisonment, or stalking can attract additional charges on your penalties.
When the court imposes domestic violence restraining orders against you, the law will prohibit you from owning or purchasing a firearm. The law requires the offenders to surrender their firearms. When you violate the firearm restriction rule, you will face 12 months of incarceration and pay a fine of up to $1,000.
How to Defend Against Restraining Order
When served with the orders, you want to inform your attorney quickly. You will only have several days to file a response to the court. Also, you have limited days to prepare for your court hearing. Below are tips you want to use to defend the charge.
Please Read the General Restraining Order, Then Follow It
Ensure you read the general document to avoid violating it. Speak with your attorney whenever you are confused about what to do. The following are reasons you should read the order :
- To know when the court has scheduled your court hearing.
- To learn the allegations against you plus the evidence, if any.
- To know your rights like the right to receive a notice of hearing, right to present your evidence, right to hire a lawyer, e.t.c. However, the right to hire a lawyer does not mean free representation. Remember, the orders are civil issues, and the court does not allow you to be defended by the prosecutor.
- Violating the order will make it hard for you to fight the permanent order.
Call an Attorney With many Years of Experience in Defending Restraining Orders
Ensure you work with a lawyer with years of experience defending restraining orders to fight your charges. Your case will proceed in a civil court but not a criminal court. An attorney will help you recap the order, accusations, and evidence against you. The attorney will then develop a strategy to help fight the charges.
Using your lawyer's guidance, you want to gather evidence related to the petition, like photos, objects, videos, and clothing. Gather other documents related to your cases like emails, GPS records, computer records, letters, and other records which show your location during the commission of the alleged crime.
Write names of witnesses, including all the people you think, and have details about the incident and the accusations. You also want to indicate the contact information of the witnesses. Before the judge issues your order, the complainant must demonstrate the allegations using valid evidence.
The above details could disapprove of the complainant's allegations. For example, having an alibi to show you were out of the city when the alleged crime occurred is enough to disapprove their evidence. Again, your mobile phone records may contradict the complainant's claim of repeated calls. When the petitioner claims you drove to their house, your location/GPS records can help to disapprove of it. The GPS information is critical to issue to the court and your attorney.
Attend The Court Hearing
You want to attend all the court hearings; if you do not, the civil court may issue you a permanent restraining order. A permanent order is worse than a temporary order since the conditions and restrictions are more. For example, a permanent order may:
- Determine the defendant’s child custody rights
- Order the defendant to pay the complainant's rent, child support, and house bills
- Issue temporary orders to possess your vehicle and home
- Prohibit you from owning a firearm
You want to attend the hearing because it is your only opportunity to inform the court of your story, ask questions about the allegations, and present your evidence. You want to arrive at the court at the ordered time, address the civil court judge"your honor," and then follow all the rules.
Contact a Domestic Violence Attorney Near Me
Have you received a notice of a domestic violence restraining order? An arrest for domestic battery, criminal threats, and domestic assault in California may result in large fines and actual jail, among other penalties. For that reason, you must hire a well-skilled attorney conversant with handling California domestic violence cases. If you hire a skilled attorney, you may not have to accept all the conditions.
At Chula Vista Criminal Attorney, we will gladly prepare you on how to defend the case. It is possible to fight the restraining orders and let the court lift the orders. When you receive the notice for the restraining orders in Chula Vista, CA, do not hesitate to call us. Contact us today at 619-877-6894, and we will help you win the case.