Domestic Violence Protective Orders in California
When there has been an incident of domestic violence, threat of violence, stalking, harassment, assault, burglary, annoying phone calls, rape, trespassing, or vandalism, the courts can issue a protective order against the accused.
These are also called a restraining orders, stay away orders, and no-contact orders. It is intended to protect the victim from the accused inflicting further harm, threats or injury. It will specifically lay out what the restrictions are that the defendant must adhere to.
It will specify, usually, that he cannot have any contact with the victim. It can also include restricting contact with others, such as the victim's family members, even though the defendant didn't commit any crime or threaten to commit a crime against them.
Protective orders should not be taken lightly. If you have been served with a protective order, you should consult a criminal defense attorney. Getting a criminal protective order removed can be a complicated court process, and you should an attorney that is proficient in this area of criminal law to help you. In California, protective orders are of three types:
Emergency Protective Orders
An emergency protective order is issued at the time of arrest and is valid until the arrested offender appears in court for the first time for arraignment, usually within five to seven days. These are commonly issued when the defendant was arrested for domestic violence, stalking, or making other criminal threats. It prohibits the defendant from having any contact with the person protected by the order.
Stay Away Order
If the charge is domestic abuse, this type of order is issued at arraignment. It is in force during the whole period in which the court case in process on the criminal domestic abuse case. These orders can be in force for up to three years. If the defendant is convicted of the charge, he or she will have some combination of fines to pay as well as possible jail time, mandated counseling, and probation. The stay away order is in effect until the defendant has completed probation.
Temporary Restraining Order
A victim of domestic abuse can petition the court to issue a temporary restraining order. This can be done even if the victim did not file a report with the police, although it is common for the victim to file a police report and request a temporary restraining order as well.
In addition to these types of protective orders, there can also be Civil Harassment Restraining Orders. Where domestic abuse cases deal mainly with married or cohabiting people or their families, these orders deal with non-intimate people, such as neighbors, co-workers, etc.
These are issued when a victim can show they suffered violence, threat of violence, or some conduct that alarmed or harassed them and that the threatening behavior was not justifiable.
Consequences of Violating Protective Orders
A protective order is not a criminal charge as such, but it can quickly create a problem if there is any violation of the terms of the order. Violations under Penal Code 273.6 PC can result in being charged with a misdemeanor, and that can mean jail time.
Even if the person who requested the order now says it is not a problem for the offender to make contact, it is still enforceable by the police. Also, if a potential employer or education institution did a records check, a protective order would show up, which could preclude you from getting a job or being admitted to school.
If you have a protective order issued against you, you should consult a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles to help you. The attorneys at our firm, Cron, Israels & Stark will aggressively investigate the facts, fight to protect your rights, and seek to have the order canceled. Call us to review your case.