Defending Against a Restraining Order Violation Charge in California

If you have been charged with violating a restraining order in the state of California, you need an experienced California criminal defense attorney who will work to protect your rights.

Four Types of Restraining Orders in California

In California, there are four types of restraining orders. These orders are sometimes termed “protective” orders.

  • A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is a protective order issued by the court to protect an individual from abuse by another individual with whom that person has an “intimate” relationship.  Typically, the person whom a domestic violence restraining order is levied against is a spouse or significant other.
  • A Civil Harassment Restraining Order is a protective order issued by the court to protect an individual by another person with whom the individual does not share an “intimate” relationship with. Here, the other person is commonly a neighbor, co-worker, or acquaintance.
  • An Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order is a protective order issued by the court to protect an individual who is 65 years or older and suffers from a physical, emotional, or other disability from abuse inflicted by a person between the ages of 18 and 64.
  • A Workplace Violence Restraining Order is a protective order issued by the court to protect an employee from violence or threats of violence in the workplace. This type of restraining order is requested by the employer on behalf of the employee.

California Penal Code 273.6 PC Governs Restraining Orders in California

In California, the law that governs restraining orders is Penal Code 273. PC. It is this law that criminalizes violations of any of the four types of restraining orders. For a restraining order to be violated, there must first exist a valid restraining order issued by the court. In other words, if the court did not have valid legal grounds to issue the order in the first place, the order is invalid and not subject to violation. In addition, for a restraining order to have been violated, the person whom the order has been issued against must have been aware of the order at the time of the alleged violation, and have intentionally violated the order. This legal criteria may seem abstract, so it is helpful to consider an example. In the domestic violence restraining order context, the order may prohibit the alleged abusive spouse or significant other from contacting the person the restraining order is intended to protect. If the alleged abusive spouse or significant other defies the order by calling, texting, or emailing the protected individual, there has been a violation.

Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order in California

Penalties for violation of a restraining order in the state of California depend on several factors:

  • The type of restraining order
  • Whether the violation is a first-time or subsequent offense
  • Whether the victim suffered a physical injury

Prison, fines, and other penalties are all possible penalties. If you have been charged with violating a restraining order, contact an experienced California criminal defense attorney.