Getting a Restraining Order Lifted and Violations of Restraining Orders
Restraining orders, also known as protective orders, no-contact orders, and stay away orders, are issued whenever the courts determine that a person must not have contact with another person or persons. If someone, a spouse, partner, co-worker, neighbor, classmate, roommate, etc. has inflicted injury on another, threatened to do so, stalked, harassed, or annoyed another, one of these legal orders can be issued, restricting contact.
In a domestic violence case, for example, a husband or live-in boyfriend may have intentionally physically hurt is wife or girlfriend. Or perhaps a neighbor who is disputing property rights has criminal threats.
Whatever the reason, when a restraining order has been issued against you, you must pay attention. Contacting a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles would be wise, as restraining orders can be serious, especially if you violate them. A Los Angeles restraining order attorney can help minimize the penalties for you and possibly even have the order changed or removed if it was issued unfairly.
Penalties for Violating Restraining Orders
Restraining orders are not a criminal charge, but if you violate an order, you will be facing a misdemeanor charge. This can send you to jail for up to a year along with having to pay up to $1000.00. Additionally, if you injured the protected person during the violation, the fine will be $2000.00. You could face up to one year in jail, and will be required to serve a minimum of 30 days behind bars.
If you violate a restraining order twice or more within a year, the courts have the choice of now charging you with a felony. If, for instance, you violated the restraining order twice, and someone was injured, then the penalty would be six months to one year in jail and fines of up to $2000.00 in cases in which the violation was charged as a misdemeanor. If the case is prosecuted as a felony, the jail time can increase to two to three years.
In order to be charged for violating a restraining order, three factors would have to be demonstrated:
- The order itself has to be valid. There are certain circumstances where a restraining order is not possible to abide by. For example, you might be ordered to come no closer than 100 yards from your neighbor, but you have to use a shared pathway to get to your house. This order should not have been granted as you can’t obey it. Or perhaps the court that issued the order did not have proper jurisdiction.
- You knew there was a restraining order against you. By law, you have to be given notice that an order is issued against you. You can’t be charged with violating it if you don’t know about it. It would have to be proven that it was improperly addressed, or it was handed in person by mistake to someone else, for example. Or you may not have been in court when the judge granted it.
- Your violation was intentional. For example, if you have been ordered to have no contact with your spouse, but you run into him or her at the grocery store. A good defense could possibly take action to show that the violation was unintentional.
Defending against a restraining order violation can be complicated. The attorneys at our firm can be of great help in maneuvering through the system and taking action to defend you or get a restraining order cancelled. After someone was arrested for domestic violence, the criminal court process is stressful, emotional, confusing, and often will frequently divide family unity.
This is important as a restraining order could negatively affect your future, including making it impossible for you to see your children or enter your own home. Aside from jail time and fines, a restraining order will show up on your record. This can preclude you from employment opportunities, owning a firearm, admission into school, and other difficulties.
Contact our firm, Cron, Israels & Stark. We can analyze the circumstances of your case and advise you on your best course of action. We know how to get these issues resolved for our clients, and urge you to contact us immediately.