Restraining Orders in California
Verbal or physical abuse is considered against the law in California since it is a criminal offense. These criminal offenses could result from abuse or threats between two relatives, married couples, domestic partners, people who are or were previously dating, and two people who are co-parenting. When such cases are presented before the court, they sometimes take long before justice prevails. Hence the victims live in fear of another attack.
To avoid this fear, the defendant, mostly the victim, may ask the court for a restraining order, which is a form of protection. Before getting a restraining order, the victim must prove abuse through domestic violence themselves or their children and thoroughly convince the judge of the need for protection through a restraining order due to the risk to your safety. In California, there are specific restraining orders for every accused person. Due to the seriousness of these offenses, it is important for these persons to have a clear understanding of the restraining orders.
Restrains in the Restraining Order
There are various restraints that the court issues to the accused person. Remember, these are just restraining orders rather not ways to divorce or establish the child’s paternity.
- For the co-parenting partners, the accused should pay child and partner support.
- Additionally, they should obey the child custody rules and the visitation rules as stipulated.
- Contribute to the payment of bills
- Maintain zero contact with the victim, the people they live with, their pets, or even their relatives.
- Do not go close to the person’s requesting the restrain workplace, school, home area, or shop.
- If you were living together, move out of the victim’s house.
- Leave behind, from the property acquired together, some property, as the court stipulates
- No ownership of guns
How Do I File, and How Much Does it Cost?
Getting a restraining order is a free process.
There are no extra costs since you do not have to get a lawyer, not unless your abuser has a lawyer. However, if you can, get yourself a lawyer who will ensure all your rights are observed during the case. If you need a lawyer but cannot afford one, seek legal assistance from the CA Resources page.
Additionally, there are non-government organizations that should be able to help you with the legal processes and refer you to a lawyer.
To file for a restraining order: Click Here.
How Are the Restraining Orders Enforced?
Restraining orders are made in the court; hence they are enforced by the law enforcers, police, and the judge. If the accused violates a restraining order, the police should be notified as soon as possible. Before making the arrest, they investigate the violation by gathering proof from witnesses, texts from WhatsApp, messaging, other social media platforms, and voicemails. If the accused had already physically attacked the victim, the police would also use these injuries as proof.
Also, the court considers the accused knowledge of the restraining order and their ability to obey the order. If the accused violated the restrain willingly, they would face the penalties of their actions as per the restraining agreement.
What Penalties are there for the accused?
In California, when an accused person disobeys the restraining order, they are likely to be penalized through a fine, a jail term, or both. Under the Penal Code 273.6, a violation of a restraining order, if intentional, automatically results in a misdemeanor offense. The penalty for this act is a jail term of one year and/or a fine that sums up to $1,000 if it is the first time.
However, if this is not the first time, the accused could be liable for a fine of $2,000 plus a 30-days minimum jail term. For the subsequent violations, the accused should face a jail term of approximately 6months to a year in addition to a $ 2000 fine. If the accused is convicted of a crime, then they should be ready to spend three years in a California prison and /or a fine of a sum amounting to $10,000.
These penalties are subsequently followed; hence when you are accused of violating a restraining order, look for a lawyer with criminal defense experience.
Need a Restraining Order Lawyer?
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Need an Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529
Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Defense Attorney who has over 21 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.