Domestic violence is a very concerning vice, especially in California. According to California law, the court can issue a restraining order in a domestic case to prevent you from harassing, harming, or threatening the complainant. Under California Penal Code 273.6, the court can issue your arrest warrant if you violate the restraining order. The judge can sentence to a jail term of up to a year in county jail as punishment for violating the restraining order.

According to the law, the prosecutor can charge you with domestic violence if you were in a close relationship with a partner, have kids together, are dating, or were a domestic partner or the complainant is a member of the family.

Read on to understand more about domestic violence restraining orders in California.

Understanding More About Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

The state of California issued various rules that extended the existing restraining orders. The extension rules affect the restraining orders pertaining to domestic violence cases. The regulations were enacted as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic and the order to stay at home. The orders which were affected include the emergency protection orders, which were extended by 30 days. The temporary restraining orders were extended by ninety days, and the permanent domestic violence restraining orders were extended by ninety days.

The domestic restraining order the court issues depends on the specifics of each case. But the purpose of every restraining order is to prevent you as the alleged abuser from contacting the victim in any manner. According to the law, the term contact encompasses several aspects, which include any physical contact, sending emails, texts, or calling the alleged victim, or engaging the victim in any way through social media platforms. Most restraining orders also have attached conditions like giving up any guns you as the alleged offender might have, paying for a child or spousal support, returning or releasing particular property and attending a batterer intervention program for a minimum of fifty-two weeks.

In some cases, the court may issue a restraining order, but the judge dismisses the charges that led to the issuance of the restraining order. In such a scenario, the court may dismiss the restraining order. But the decision to dismiss the restraining order will depend on the type the court had issued and the conditions of the restraining order.

The Three Major Types OF Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

California has three major types of domestic restraining orders. The three restraining orders include the emergency protective orders, the temporary restraining orders, and the permanent domestic violence restraining orders. However, a new law extended the existing restraining orders by between 30 to 90 days. The extension duration depends on the type of restraining order.

Emergency Restraining Order.

The police will issue an emergency restraining order in an emergency. The police or law enforcement officer will give you the emergency restraining order if you are in imminent and immediate danger of harm from your partner. The officer can request the restraining order at any time of the day or night. An emergency protective order is only valid in California if a judicial officer issues the order after the law enforcement officer has made the request. The duration of an emergency restraining order in California before the extension was seven days, but the new laws have extended this period to thirty days.

Once the judicial officer issues the order, it goes into effect immediately. The law has extended the validity of this order to 30 days. Before the new emergency extension rules, the order was valid for seven days. The purpose of the emergency protective order is to give you time to file for a temporary or permanent restraining order.

Before the judicial officer issues the emergency protective order in relation to domestic violence, they will have to ascertain you are in imminent danger of domestic violence. They also verify the order is necessary to prevent the violence or the reoccurrence of the domestic violence.

Temporary Restraining Order

Before the extension, the court could impose the TRO for twenty to twenty-five days. After the extension, the judge can impose the restraining order for ninety days. The purpose of a temporary restraining order is to protect the victim from the alleged abuser before the court hears and determines the case.

Violating the terms may lead to more severe problems. You might be tempted to contact the victim to ask why they obtained the order against you. Doing so is a great mistake as you will have already violated the order’s conditions.

A person can obtain a restraining order against you if you have abused them or threatened to abuse them. Your child can file for a restraining order against you as a parent in California, provided they are above twelve years. According to California law, someone else can file for a domestic violence restraining order on your child’s behalf. Your in-law can also file for the TRO, provided the marriage is current. They can also seek a restraining order to protect other family members if they are afraid you may try to harm them.

How One Acquires The Temporary Restraining Order In California

To obtain a TPO, you have to present yourself to court. While in court, you have to explain why you feel you need the protective order from the judicial officer. You also have to explain what happened. You will then fill the necessary paperwork, and the court officer will give you a date when you will come back for a hearing. If you feel you’re in imminent danger, you can request a temporary restraining order. The order was valid for twenty to twenty-five days, but now it’s valid for ninety days. The purpose of the TRO is to protect before the court hears and determines your case.

During the hearing, the court will also ascertain if a permanent restraining order is necessary. Remember, a court can issue you the TRO without notifying the defendant. You only have to prove you require the protection offered by the restraining order. However, for the TRO to have full effect, you have to serve the order to the defendant within five days from the day of the hearing.

In California, the TRO has to be served in person. If it’s served through any other means, it becomes invalid. A TRO contains the time and date of the hearing and any other supporting evidence of the charge you have brought against the defendant.

Permanent Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

The third type of domestic restraining order is the permanent domestic violence restraining order. The law has extended this type of restraining order to ninety days. Permanent restraining orders are meant to provide long-term protection to the victim of domestic violence. These orders can last for five years. The court issues a permanent domestic violence restraining order after hearing the domestic violence case. The court decides if the restraining order is necessary depending on the case’s specifics and whether it is necessary for the victim’s protection.

A judge will not easily issue a permanent restraining order due to its long-term effect on you as the alleged abuser. A permanent restraining order is the most severe type of restraining order, and violating it has dire consequences. The length of a permanent restraining order depends on the case, and it can last for months or years.

The alleged victim must present conclusive evidence of harassment, physical violence, or threats for the court to issue them a permanent restraining order. It becomes an offense for you to contact the complainant in any way or come near their place of residence once the court issues the permanent restraining order.

How To File For The Order In California

You have to visit the court to file for a permanent restraining order. The court will notify you of the date of the hearing once it accepts the filing. You have to attend the hearing on that date and time. If you fail to show up as the complainant, the court will dismiss the case.

The defendant also receives a notice to appear on the date and time of the hearing. If you fail to show up as the defendant on the hearing date, you give the alleged victim an easy time as the judge only hears one side of the story. The victim may persuade the judge to issue a permanent restraining order. Therefore, it’s critical to appear for the protective order hearing as the defendant to present your side of the story.

A Domestic Violence Restraining Order Terms And Conditions

In California, the conditions of a restraining order depend on the case. The court will also set the terms and conditions in the restraining order, also called the protection order. Despite the type of order, each contains a provision that prevents the alleged abuser from contacting the victim. The law defines contact as physical contact with the victim, coming close to the victim, any form of surveillance, for example, stalking and using digital surveillance equipment like CCTV, sending emails, and any contact on social media platforms.

The domestic violence order may also include the surrender of any weapon, especially guns, the payment for child support, the release or return of certain assets, payment of some bills, payment for partner or child support, and prohibition from making any adjustments to the insurance policies.

Does The Law Require Judges To Impose A Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

The decision for a judge to impose a restraining order depends on the merits of the case. They will review the domestic violence case and decide whether to impose the domestic violence restraining order. It isn’t necessary to show physical scars for the judge to issue a restraining order against your abuser. You simply need to show that the defendant has abused you or has issued a threat to harm you or your minor child or both you and your minor child.

According to California Penal Code 273.6, it’s against the law to violate a restraining or protective order. The prosecutor must prove three elements for the court to find you guilty of violating a restraining order. They must prove the court gave the legal protective order, you had knowledge of the order, and you intentionally refused to follow order’s terms and conditions. In California, a violation of domestic violence is usually a misdemeanor. The punishment for the offense includes imprisonment of a maximum of one year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both imprisonment and fine. Sometimes, the court can charge the offense as a felony. If the court charges the offense as a felony, you can be sentenced to a maximum jail term of three years in state prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both the jail term and fine.

What Happens When The Court Dismisses The Underlying Domestic Violence Charge

A judge can issue a domestic violence restraining order for various reasons. The court can issue the order if you are charged with domestic battery, against California penal code 234e1. The court can also issue a restraining order for causing injury on your intimate partner which is against California Penal Code 273.5.

In some cases, though, the court dismisses the domestic violence or corporal injury charges leveled against you by the victim if they cannot provide sufficient evidence. In other cases, the court may dismiss the restraining order along with the charges. The decision to dismiss or not dismiss the order depends on the type of restraining order the court had issued.

In some instances, the dismissal of the restraining order is automatic when the court dismisses the charges. In other cases, the restraining order may remain in effect. If that happens, you have to request the court to dismiss the restriction order through writing.

Call A San Diego Domestic Violence Lawyer Near Me

The consequences of a domestic violence conviction are colossal. The judge can charge you hefty fines, send you to mandatory battery classes, or worse still, send you to prison. Therefore, it's critical to seek the services of an experienced domestic violence attorney.

At the Domestic Violence Attorney Law Firm, we are recognized as one of the top-tier domestic violence law firms in San Diego. If you or your loved one has been charged with domestic violence and the alleged victim seeks a domestic violence restraining order against you, don’t hesitate to contact us at 619-393-8588. Give us a call for a free consultation.