One of the most important and effective tools for protecting victims of domestic violence is a restraining order. Also known as a protective order in California, this court order makes it illegal for a person to have contact with another person in order to prevent physical, sexual, mental, or emotional abuse from occurring.
Most people have heard of restraining orders, but not everyone knows exactly what they do, what they’re used for, or how to go about getting them. In this blog, we’re breaking down important information that all Californians should know about protective orders.
A restraining order restricts physical proximity.
The common perception of restraining orders is that they require a person to keep a certain distance of 100 yards from another person. This is accurate for protective orders in California, and it prevents victims from being physically confronted at home, at work, at school, in their vehicle, and more.
A restraining order stops certain personal conduct.
In addition to stopping people from physically being in proximity to others, restraining orders also prevent people from engaging in certain behaviors. These behaviors include contacting them via telephone, text message, or email, threatening them, stalking them, harassing them, destroying their personal property, and more.
A restraining order can require a person to move out.
When a living situation turns dangerous, a restraining order can even be used to require a person to move out of their home or apartment if they share the residence with a protected person (the person the restraining order is protecting). When these orders are enforced, the person named by the order can take only clothing and personal belongings until further court orders to reduce the risk of further incident.
A restraining order can have serious impacts on a person’s daily life.
When a person has a restraining order filed against them, the implications can be significant not just in their ability to be near the protected person, but also in their day-to-day life. For example, they may be unable to go to certain public places, have to move out of their home, be unable to see their children, and even be at risk of deportation from the country depending on their immigration status.
Violating a restraining order has even stiffer consequences.
While it’s true that restraining orders are just that—court orders—the penalties for violating one in California can be severe. People who are caught violating restraining orders are likely to go to jail. Repeated violations or violations that include physical violence can result in even harsher penalties, including longer sentences and heavier fines.
Types of restraining orders.
Although many restraining orders involve two people who are or were in a romantic relationship or other close relationship, they can also be invoked to protect:
- Emergency Protective Order – Lasts the earlier of 5 court days or 7 calendar days and issued by a police officer
- Temporary Restraining Order – Lasts 21 to 25 calendar days
- Permanent Restraining Order – Lasts up to 5 years, but can be renewed permanently
- Criminal Protective Order – Lasts up to 3 years
Contact Us with Your California Restraining Order Questions
Whether you’re facing a restraining order or need to file one against someone, the California family law attorneys at The Law Office of André J. Ausseresses, APC, can help. We have many years of experience with both sides of domestic violence cases and restraining orders, and we have the resources, information, and track record of success you need to take the right steps. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
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