If you have been served a restraining order in Orange County, you have legal rights and options to fight the restraining order and the allegations against you, and to present your side of the story. Restraining orders, also called protective orders, can be unfairly or not legally issued, or you may be falsely accused of violating the order.
It is a crime to violate the terms of a protective order, regardless of whether you think it is fair or the charges are true. You have the right to defend yourself if you have been served a restraining order or charged with violating a restraining order. The protective order must be legally issued, you must know the restraining order exists, or you must have intentionally violated it to be guilty of violating an order.
It is important to hire an attorney to help you respond to and defend a restraining order. There is a legal process with the courts you must follow. Your attorney will respond to the restraining order, present evidence of your behalf, assist and advise you on following legal or court procedures to protect yourself, and will appear with you in court during the hearing about the court order.
You have the right to be notified of the restraining order and to read a copy of the order. You have a right to be represented by an attorney before a judge. You have a right to respond to the court about the charges, to have a court hearing related to the order, and you have the right not to say something that may incriminate you. You also have the right to present evidence or witnesses in your defense. You are not entitled to a jury trial.
If you have been served with a protective order:
Conviction for violating a restraining order is generally a misdemeanor carrying a potential penalty of a maximum of one year in county jail and a fine up to $1000.
Violating a restraining order a second time may make the offense a wobbler – meaning the prosecutor could file the charge against you as either a misdemeanor or as a felony. If convicted on a felony charge you could face 16 months to 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, depending on the circumstances surrounding the violation.
A restraining order is a court order requiring you to follow certain orders about your conduct toward another person. It may require you to stay away from another person or place.
Restraining orders are designed to protect an individual from some sort of harm or perceived threat. They order a “restrained” person to stop a specific act or behavior involving the “protected” person. While each individual order will dictate the exact behavior that is prohibited, the order will likely include preventing personal contact with the individual (including email, texting, and social media). The order may prohibit you from coming within a certain distance of the person.
A protective order may specifically prohibit you from things like:
Having a restraining order in effect against you has implications for your every day life: A protective order can:
In cases where domestic violence or abuse is alleged a restraining order may require you to move out of your home taking only your personal belongings until there is a court hearing.
There are four general categories of restraining orders in California. Each type could contain:
Personal Conduct orders in which the court orders you not to engage in certain behaviors, such as contacting the protected person, harassing or threatening the person, assaulting them, or destroying their property or disturbing the peace of the person.
Stay-Away orders which prohibit you from coming within a certain distance of the protected person or locations that person frequents. This may include home, workplace, school, childcare locations, vehicles, or other places.
Residence Exclusions orders which require you to move out of the residence where the protected person lives.
A Domestic Violence Restraining Order
A domestic violence restraining orders are court orders filed to prevent potential or repeated acts of abuse or battery against a close family member such as a spouse or ex-spouse, domestic partner, dating or cohabitating person, or a parent or child if there is suspected child or elder abuse. Acts of abuse are generally defined as:
Domestic violence restraining orders can also be issued to prevent you from destroying personal property or disturbing the peace of a close family member.
In cases where the prosecutor has filed domestic violence criminal charges, the criminal court may order a criminal protective order against the accused while the case is going on. If found guilty of the criminal charges, the protective order may remain in effect for up to 3 years after the case is closed.
Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order
This kind of restraining order is filed to prevent acts of physical or financial abuse of persons 65 or older, or adults 18-64 who have certain physical or mental disabilities. Acts of elder or dependent adult abuse can include neglect, abandonment or emotional or mental abuse.
Civil Harassment Restraining Order
This type of protective order prohibits acts of harassment defined as stalking, assault or battery, sexual assault, serious harassment or credible threats from a friend, neighbor or a more distant family member. A credible threat of violence is saying or acting in a way that a reasonable person would fear for their safety.
There are three basic levels of restraining orders a court may issue in California:
Jeremy N. Goldman is available to consult with you at no charge on any criminal matter. He is distinguished as a certified specialist in criminal law by the California State Board of Legal Specialization. He has a track record of more than 22 years of successfully defending crime, often getting charges dismissed or winning acquittals after jury trial. Contact the Law Offices of Jeremy Goldman at (800) 349-1619 or email him confidentially online today.
Serving Orange County including Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Tustin, Anaheim, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Mission Viejo, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Westminster, Fullerton, Aliso Viejo, Buena Park, and Laguna Beach.
OC Criminal Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results portrayed here were dependent on the facts of a particular legal matter and results vary from case to case. Please contact Attorney Jeremy N. Goldman for a consultation on your particular legal matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of California.