Punishment for Violating a Restraining Order or Protective Order in California – PC 273.6(a)
Have You Been Charged with Violation of a Restraining or Protective Order?
If you have been charged with violating your restraining or criminal protective order in California, your freedom is at stake. The punishment for violating a restraining order in California involves jail time in addition to monetary fines. For over 30 years, our criminal defense attorneys have helped thousands of individuals who have faced criminal charges for violating criminal protective orders. We understand the stress and uncertainty that you are currently going through, and we are ready to help now. To speak to an attorney experienced in restraining and criminal protective order, call (877) 466-5266 or fill out our form.
Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order – California PC 273.6(a)
Violating a California restraining order or protective order under California Penal Code Section 273.6 is viewed as a “wobbler,” which means that it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or felony offense depending on the facts and circumstances of the case and the criminal history of the defendant. The prosecution will also consider several factors such as whether the victim sustained injuries or if the defendant was previously convicted or violating a restraining order. Here are the potential charges and penalties faced by an individual who has been accused of violating a restraining order in California:
Violating a restraining order (misdemeanor):
If you are convicted of violating a protective order, a misdemeanor, you will face up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in county jail.
Violation resulting in physical injury:
You will serve a minimum of 30 days in county jail and pay a maximum fine of $2,000. In making this determination, the court will consider the seriousness of the violation, the probability of future violations, the safety of the victim, and whether you have successfully completed or have made substantial progress with court ordered counseling sessions.
Second violation of a restraining order within one year:
This can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor conviction can result in six months to a year in county jail. A felony conviction can result in probation and up to one year in county jail or 16 months or two or three years in county jail.
Second violation of a restraining order within seven years:
A second misdemeanor violation can result in up to one year in county jail and up to $1,000 in fines. A felony conviction can result in up to three years in county jail and a maximum of $10,000 in fines.
Probation may be available if you are convicted of violating a restraining order:
Individuals could also be placed on supervised probation. Those who are under probation may not violate any law (other than traffic infractions). They will be required to visit their probation officer under the probation terms; perform community service; reimburse victims for expenses resulting from the violation. A judge may also order individuals on probation to undergo mandatory counseling, make payments to a battered women’s shelter or pay restitution to the victim for medical expenses that were incurred as a result of the offense. Violating your probation could result in the court sentencing you to the maximum time allowed under the law.
Firearms restrictions that result from violating a restraining or protective order:
If you have a restraining order in effect against you, it is illegal for you to own, possess, buy or otherwise obtain a firearm. You will be required to either surrender your weapons to a local law enforcement agency or sell them to a licensed gun dealer. If you knowingly possess a firearm with effective restraining order, you could be charged with a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and a maximum one-year county jail sentence. If charged with a felony, you could face up to $1,000 in fines and a maximum three-year state prison sentence.
Building a Strong Defense Against Charges for Violation of a Restraining Order
In order to convict an individual of violating a protective order, the prosecution must prove that the restraining order was lawfully issued. If a restraining order is invalid or not legally issued by a court of law, you are not bound by its terms and you cannot be convicted for a violation of such an order. If the court lacked jurisdiction to issue the restraining order or issued the order based on false or misleading information, then, such a restraining order is invalid and you cannot be convicted for failing to follow it. To obtain a conviction, the prosecution must also prove that you had knowledge about the existence of the order; you understood the terms and conditions of the order; you had the ability to follow the order; and that you intentionally violated the order.
Speak to an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer at Wallin & Klarich
If you or someone you love has been charged with violating a restraining order in California, it would be in your best interest to contact an experienced defense attorney who is dedicated to providing the best representation possible. With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and Victorville, Wallin & Klarich has successfully represented clients facing prosecution for violations of restraining orders in California for more than 30 years. We will thoroughly review all the facts of your case and work diligently to develop an effective and winning defense strategy.