Many people have heard of a restraining order, but do not know what it really means to have one granted against them. At its basic level, a restraining order (also known as a protective order) is a court order requiring you to stay away from another person.
If a restraining order is entered against you, this means you must maintain a minimum physical distance from the other person, their place of work, and their home. It may also forbid you from making any contact with that person through phone, email, or other form of communication for a certain period of time.
There are a few different types of restraining orders in California:
- Domestic Violence: Protection from a person with whom you share an intimate relationship, such as a spouse, fiancé, boyfriend/girlfriend, or even roommate;
- Civil Harassment: Protection from people such as neighbors, friends, family members, or acquaintances with whom you do not live;
- Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse: Protection of a person 65 and older, or a dependent adult with physical or mental disabilities from abuse or neglect; and
- Workplace Violence: Protection that is requested by an employer to protect an employee who has been threatened with or experienced violence at his or her place of employment.
- Criminal Protective Order: Criminal protective orders may be issued to protect a person who law enforcement believes is at risk of injury or death as the result of a criminal investigation.
Each type of restraining order can last for a defined period of time. An emergency protective order (EPO) lasts for seven days. A temporary restraining order (TRO) generally lasts two to three weeks. A criminal protective order can last for up to 10 years. A permanent restraining order (PRO) is not necessarily a “lifetime” ban from contacting this person, but it generally lasts for a period of three years with the possibility of renewal.
How a Restraining Order Changes Your Daily Life
If you have a restraining order entered against you, you will have to make some immediate changes to your daily life. If you live with the person who obtained the order against you, you will have to temporarily or permanently vacate your home and find a new place to live until the order expires or is lifted by the court.
You may lose several rights that you previously enjoyed, and be forced to take on new responsibilities at your own expense. A restraining order may prohibit you from contacting your children if they live with the person who sought the order. You will lose your right to own or possess a firearm for the duration of the order. You may be required to pay for and participate in a counseling program for the prevention of domestic abuse.
You may also find that the restraining order will show up on your record for up to five years following the expiration of the order.
Restraining Order Violations Can Be Severely Punished (PC 273.6)
What happens if you violate a restraining order? Under California Penal Code Section 273.6, it is a misdemeanor to violate a restraining order. You can face a fine of $1,000 and up to 364 days in county jail of it is found that you violated a restraining order.
A second conviction for violating a restraining order could be charged as a felony. The punishment is a fine of up to $10,000 and 16 months or two or three years in state prison.
How Can I Make a Restraining Order Go Away?
You should retain a lawyer who can apply to the court to have a restraining order modified or lifted. Generally, this will involve showing the court that you have corrected or improved the behavior that led to the restraining order.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you present a convincing argument to the court that you deserve to have the order lifted or modified. Your attorney can show the court evidence of gainful employment, participation in counseling, statements from persons who can attest to the change in your character, and the absence of violations of the order.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
A restraining order can change your life both in the short and long term. If a restraining order has been filed against you, you should contact an experienced restraining order attorney immediately. Our lawyers have more than 35 years of experienced successfully helping our clients in restraining order matters. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.