10 Ways You Can Violate a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
People involved in domestic disputes often need court orders to resolve their differences. In cases of reported abuse, the court has the power to impose a restraining order against the alleged abuser. A restraining order is designed to protect victims of physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse.
If you have been accused of domestic violence in Southern California, you must comply with the terms of any protective or restraining order filed against you. Failure to do so is a crime and may result in your arrest.
Some of the Ways You Can Violate a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
Although a restraining order must be fashioned in a manner that it is possible to comply with its terms, there are many ways you can violate these conditions, including but not limited to the following:
- Failure to move out of a residence where you live with a protected person;
- Failure to stay away from your home, a protected person’s place of employment (including your own, if you both work at the same place), or your children’s schools;
- Making contact with a protected person when a “no contact” condition has been imposed. You can violate a no-contact order either in person, by telephone or text, by email, using social networking, or in any other form, either directly or indirectly through another person. If you write a letter to a protected person while you are in jail, you violate the no contact rule.
- Threatening a protected person with physical abuse;
- Failure to comply with court-ordered child visitation rules;
- Failure to pay court-ordered child support;
- Failure to pay court-ordered spousal support;
- Failure to pay certain bills;
- Failure to return property specified in the court order;
- Being in possession of a gun. Protective and restraining orders often require that you forfeit any firearm in your possession while the order is in effect. You also violate California and federal law if you own or use a gun and have been convicted of a prior misdemeanor domestic violence crime or any felony.
What Happens If the Victim Violates the Order of Protection?
If a victim violates his/her own order of protection, the victim generally cannot be arrested. This is because the victim is not the subject of the restraining order and hence cannot be restrained. Unfortunately, this means that even if the victim approaches you and is the reason you violate the order of protection, you will likely be the only one facing the consequences. As such, it is important that you avoid any contact with the alleged victim after you have been served with an order of protection.
Consequences for Violating a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
Generally, violating a restraining or protective order is a misdemeanor offense in California. If you intentionally and knowingly violate a restraining order, California law under Penal Code Section 273.6 subjects you to the following criminal consequences:
- Up to one year in jail; and/or
- A maximum $1,000 fine (doubled to $2,000 in the event of physical injury suffered by a protected person);
If the judge grants you probation, he or she has the discretion to order certain conditions, including:
- 52 weeks of mandatory anger management or domestic batterer’s classes;
- Substance abuse counseling;
- Payments to a battered women’s shelter of up to $5,000; and/or
- Restitution to the victim for any counseling or medical expenses that were reasonably incurred as a result of the offense.
Violation of a restraining order that results in a protected party suffering physical injury requires that you:
- Serve a mandatory minimum of at least 30 days in the county jail.
If you violate a protective order for a second time within one year and your victim suffers a physical injury you must:
- Serve a mandatory minimum of at least six months in jail.
However, if you serve a minimum of 48 hours in jail on a mandatory 30-day sentence or a minimum of 30 days on a mandatory six-month sentence, the judge has the discretion to exempt you from serving the balance.
Upon a second violation of a protective order within a seven-year period and the violation involves a credible threat or act of violence, violating a restraining order becomes a “wobbler” – meaning you face either a misdemeanor or a felony conviction.
If you are convicted of a felony violation of a restraining order, you face:
- Three to five years of formal probation under the supervision of a probation officer, with or without a condition that you serve up to one year in jail; or
- 16 months or two or three years in jail; and/or
- A fine of up to $10,000.
Violating a domestic violence restraining order may also result in:
- A reduction or loss of your child visitation rights;
- An increase in spousal or child support payments;
- Added conditions related to the reasons you violated the order;
- Extension of a Permanent Restraining Order (“PRO”). The maximum length is 10 years.
What Happens If You Violate a Restraining Order Twice?
Violation of a restraining order is deemed as contempt of court, or a willful disobedience of a court order. The violation may result in a mark on your record. It may also result in criminal charges, criminal conviction, or fines. The first violation is treated as a misdemeanor. Violators may receive up to 1 year in county jail and/or probation and $1,000 in fines. If the protected person was hurt, you may be arrested and serve no less than 30 days in jail. Afterwards, each subsequent violation in California within 7 years of the first can be charged as a felony. If convicted of felony restraining order violation, you may be sentenced to 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison. You may also be fined for as much as $10,000. This means that if you violate a restraining order twice in a short time span, you may face heavy fines and jail sentences.
Contact Wallin & Klarich Today if You Have Violated a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
Violating a domestic violence restraining order is a very serious criminal offense. If you or someone you love has been accused of violating a court protection order, you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich today. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 40 years of experience helping our clients overcome the difficulties associated with violating a restraining order.
We may be able to demonstrate that you did not knowingly or intentionally violate a court order and therefore cannot be held accountable. If sanctions are likely to be imposed, we will fight hard to convince the court to place you on probation without serving a jail sentence.
With offices in Los Angeles, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, and Victorville, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are available to help you no matter where you currently reside. You don’t have to do this alone.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL (877-466-5245) for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.