Restraining Order Violations in California

At the law firm of Sean F. Leslie, Attorney at Law, our criminal defense attorneys are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in defending restraining order violations. Restraining orders can have a devastating effect on the person restrained. They may not be able to have contact with their loved ones and may even be forced to leave their home in order to comply. If you have been charged with violating a restraining order, we are committed to defending your case aggressively and protecting your rights.

What is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order, also known as a protective order, is a court order designed to protect someone from continued abuse, harassment, threats, or stalking. Generally, the restrained party is prohibited from any type of contact with the individual requesting the restraining order. Contact includes all forms of communication, including social media contact.

A California court will generally issue four types of restraining orders:

  • Domestic Violence – to protect against abuse inflicted by a family member or significant other.
  • Workplace Violence – Protects an employee from abuse or violence in the workplace.
  • Civil Harassment – Protects those from abuse or harassment from persons that the requester does not Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse – protects elders and those with certain disabilities from emotional and financial abuse or neglect.

A Court will issue three types of restraining/protective orders:

  • Emergency Protective Order – Issued in an emergency, generally in response to a domestic violence call where law enforcement suspects immediate danger. An emergency protective order is good for up to seven days.
  • Temporary Restraining Order – Typically good for two to three weeks. This type of protective order is generally requested in the interim when an emergency protective order expires or for a victim of harassment. Prior to the expiration of the temporary protective order, a hearing is generally held to determine if a permanent solution is necessary.
  • Permanent Restraining Order – A court will issue a permanent protective order if, after a hearing, it finds that the requesting individual requires permanent protection from the threat of another. A permanent restraining order can last up to three years.

A permanent restraining order has a devastating effect on the restrained person, often requiring that person to:

o   Leave their home and find another residence.

o   Have zero contact with the protected person.

o   Maintain a specified distance from that person at all times.

o   Turn in any firearms that the restrained person may possess.

o   Pay the attorney’s fees of the protected person.

Penalties for Violation of a Restraining Order

Violation of a restraining order is governed by California Penal Code 273.6. The severity of the penalty depends upon whether the violation is viewed as a misdemeanor or a felony.

  • Misdemeanor Violation can come with a fine of $1,000 and up to one year in county jail.
  • Violation resulting in physical injury of the protected party carries a penalty of a maximum $2,000 fine and minimum 30 days of jail time.
  • A second violation of a restraining order within one year can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the circumstances. The misdemeanor penalty is six months to one year of jail time. The felony conviction can result in one to three years in county jail, as well as probation.
  • A second misdemeanor violation within seven years will result in up to one year of jail time and $1,000 in fines. A second felony conviction carries a penalty of $10,000 in fines and up to three years in prison.

The penalties for restraining order violation can be harsh, which is why it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. If you have been charged with a restraining order violation, we want to help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.