California

Domestic Violence and Protective Orders

April 21, 2021 by Mikel Rastegar in California  Criminal Defense  
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Were You Served with a Protective Order?

When a person is charged with domestic violence, corporal injury to another (PC 273.5) or domestic battery (PC 243(e)(1)) they are required to be personally present at the first court date, which is called an arraignment. The reason they need to be present is so they can be served with a protective order. Protective Orders are essentially restraining orders, that keep the accused and accuser from being able to speak to each other.

Sometimes this is a good idea if the victim is afraid for her safety to be around the perpetrator of the crime. However, many times police are called in the heat of the moment, and as things cool, the husband-wife, boyfriend-girlfriend, significant others want to go on with their lives together. The protective order makes this impossible as the defendant has to move out of the residence, and can no longer contact the victim without risking going back to jail. So, for instance, if the defendant and victim have kids together, they cannot even have a family meal together until the protective order is lifted.

Having the Protective Order Lifted

How is a protective order lifted? In a domestic violence case, it is not easy. Sometimes the protective order is not lifted at all until the case is resolved, i.e. either the defendant pleads guilty or the case goes to trial and there is a not-guilty verdict. In perhaps a majority of cases, even after a defendant pleads guilty the Judge will leave the protective order in place. That means the parties cannot speak to each other even after the case is over!

At minimum, to lift a restraining order, the Court typically wants to see the following:

  1. that defendant has completed 8 or more domestic violence counseling sessions and
  2. the victim addresses the Court in person and tells the Court she or he wishes to have the protective order lifted and that she does not fear the defendant will hurt her and
  3. the reason the victim wants the restraining order lifted.

Prior to the Court issuing a protective order, at the scene of the alleged crime, the police can issue what’s known as an EPO or Emergency Protective Order. When the police go to the scene of the crime, they will ask the victim if she wants an Emergency Protective Order, which will issue immediately . If she agrees, the EPO will last for seven days and expire automatically. During this time, the alleged perpetrator cannot contact the victim.

Protective Orders and other restraining orders such as Emergency Protective Orders can be very hard on families and loved ones. They can disrupt the family, and especially be emotionally hard or even traumatic to the children who may not see mom or dad for many months.

We can help convince the Judge to lift or modify the Protective Order. If you would like to discuss having one lifted or modified, please contact our office for a free consultation.

We’re Here to Help

If you or someone you know is involved in a situation with domestic violence, the Esfandi Law Group wants to help. One of our experienced attorneys will talk with you to understand the facts of your case and can guide you towards the next best legal steps to take.

No two domestic abuse cases are the same. Every case requires a high level of care, attention, and respect, as well as confidentiality, in order to protect all parties involved. With over twenty years of experience in dealing with sensitive legal cases for victims in Los Angeles, we know what it takes to help our clients with delicate legal matters. Contact our Domestic Violence Defense Team today for a free case review.

Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

See Related Articles:

Refusing to Testify in a Domestic Violence Case
How to Reduce PC 273.5 Corporal Injury to Spouse

What if I Refuse to Testify in a Domestic Violence Case? Read our Client Reviews

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We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
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  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
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