Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders 101
The basics of domestic violence in Orange County, CA
In California, there are four different types of restraining orders: domestic violence, elder or dependent adult abuse, civil harassment, and workplace violence. If you are concerned for your or your family’s safety and considering filing a restraining order, contact an Orange County domestic violence lawyer immediately.
In this post, we’ll cover restraining orders as they relate to domestic violence, including what constitutes domestic violence, how to obtain an order, and what can be done if it is ignored.
What Is Domestic Violence?
According to California Law, domestic violence occurs when an abuser physically or sexually assaults a victim.
It also occurs when a person is threatened, stalked, or harassed. In other words, physical violence does not have to occur for the case of domestic violence to be considered.
If you are afraid that someone will hurt you because of their actions or threats, that constitutes abuse. Destroying your personal property, such as clothing, is also an act of domestic violence. Hurting a family pet may also be considered an act of abuse.
Abuse takes many forms, including emotional, verbal, psychological, and even financial. The perpetrator’s end desire is to gain control and power over the abused.
If you feel afraid or controlled by someone close to you, consider talking to a domestic violence counselor, and be sure to call your Orange County domestic violence lawyer.
What Is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order is a legal document that criminalizes behavior that is normally considered legal.
This enables the court to punish a restrained person if they violate the order. The individual getting the order is considered the protected person, and they may also request protection for other family or household members.
To file for a domestic violence restraining order, there must be a close relationship between the person asking for the order and the one being restrained.
This relationship may be a spouse or former spouse, partner or ex-partner, dating or once dated, or a family member.
Restraining orders also called protective orders, may mandate that a restrained person stop attacking, stalking, threatening, harassing, contacting, or disturbing a protected person.
They can also keep them a certain distance away from the protected person, their home and work, their children, the children’s schools, and other members of their household.
Residence exclusion orders mean the restrained person must leave the place of residence they share with the protected person. If the abuser supports you, they may also be ordered to continue to pay the mortgage, rent, or other bills. Temporary spousal or child support may be included in the order.
The perpetrator may also be required to complete a 52-week batterer intervention program, attend parenting classes, or enroll in anger management classes.
Your restraining order is valid anywhere in the U.S. If you move to another state, you may want to register it so that local law enforcement has access. It is crucial that you keep a copy with you at all times.
Due to the many laws regarding these legal documents, we recommend you contact an Orange County domestic violence lawyer.
Types of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
There are three main types of restraining orders.
- Emergency Protective Order (EPO)
This order allows an officer of the law to request an emergency restraining order. Officers of the law apply for this type of order when they feel someone could be in immediate danger of domestic violence or if a child is in danger of abuse or abduction.
This order is enforceable for seven days and is used for protection until a temporary restraining order can be issued.
- Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
A temporary order lasts from 20-25 days and is issued if the judge feels the abused needs protection until the court rules on the case.
- Permanent Restraining Order (PRO)
If the judge believes the filer is in danger, a permanent restraining order is issued following the court hearing. A domestic violence permanent restraining order is valid for up to five years.
Tips for Filing a Restraining Order
- There are a series of forms that you will need to fill out when filing for a restraining order. If you have children, these include child custody and visitation orders as well as no travel forms.
- If you need monetary support, an income and expense declaration, as well as a financial statement, is required. It is also important to know that there is no fee for filing these forms.
- After copying and filing the forms at the courthouse, the restraining order needs to be served to the abuser. There are strict guidelines regarding the manner in which they can be served.
- Be sure to speak with an Orange County divorce attorney to make sure it is handled correctly.
- Make sure you are specific regarding the type of abuse, the situations, and places where the domestic violence occurred. It’s also important to support your claim with evidence, if possible. This proof of abuse may include destroyed personal objects, texts, emails, social media posts, or pictures.
- Talk to possible witnesses that may be able to collaborate on your accusations.
- Think about what you would like the end result to be should the judge approve the order. Does it include a stay-away order, financial support, or limited visitation rights with the children?
- Contact an Orange County divorce attorney to help ensure the forms and filing are completed accurately and in a manner that will protect you and your children.
- At the hearing, the judge will either grant or deny the request for a permanent restraining order. If it is denied, you may appeal the decision.
The Consequences of Receiving a Restraining Order
Having a restraining order filed against you can have serious consequences. In addition to having to move out of your home, it can also have a major impact on child custody and visitation rights as well as spousal support. Usually, you will not be able to own a gun.
A violated restraining order is punishable by paying a fine, going to jail, or both.
Whether you are requesting a restraining order or defending yourself against one, it is important to call an experienced Orange County domestic violence lawyer to help you handle the situation.
We take domestic violence seriously. As passionate family law attorneys, we make sure the best interests of the children are considered first and foremost.