Los Angeles Restraining Order Defense Attorney
When people hear about restraining orders issued by a judge, most think of domestic violence. And while domestic violence is a common subject for such an order, there are numerous types of restraining orders covering various situations and containing different prohibitions. Some are civil and some are criminal. In addition, restraining orders contain different effective dates and different expiration dates. There are temporary restraining orders (“TRO’s”), and restraining orders which may expire after a set period of time. Because of the many varieties of restraining orders, this is a complex area of the law. As a result, it is important to have a knowledgeable and experienced restraining order lawyer to guide you through the process and protect your rights, particularly if you have been accused of violating a restraining order.
At CBS Law, we have the experience you want in your lawyer when you are named as the defendant in an application for the issuance of a protective order, or if you are charged with violating an existing restraining order. Contact us for a free consultation.
“I felt like i was in nightmare. Chris literally saved my life.” – Jesus L.
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
A domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) is issued on behalf of a person with whom you have dated, had, or have a romantic relationship, including a spouse, or on behalf a close relative, such as a parent, child, brother, sister, grandparent, or in-laws. The abuse need not be physical. It can involve deprivation of money or food and other basic needs, isolating a person from their friends or family, and even online abuse.
DVRO’s are criminal cases. They often include one or more of the following prohibitions or requirements:
- You may not contact the alleged victim.
- You must not be closer than a specified distance from the person protected under the order.
- You may not have access to firearms.
- You may not threaten or harass the person protected.
- You must vacate the home you share with the person protected.
- You must pay child/spousal support.
The order may contain additional items, depending upon the circumstances of the parties and the allegations that led to the issuance of the restraining order.
In some cases, the judge will issue a TRO without notice to the defendant. If you are served with a TRO, you must comply with the conditions contained in the order. But you will also be notified of a date on which you may challenge the order. At that time, the judge will decide whether to make the order “permanent” (up to 5 years), or to vacate or modify the order. You are entitled to be represented by counsel at all stages of the process.
Civil Harassment Restraining Orders
The basis for a civil harassment restraining order (CVRO) is that the alleged victim has been harassed, threatened, stalked, or been caused harm, which may be emotional or physical, by the defendant. The potential requirements/prohibitions of a civil harassment restraining order are essentially the same as those for a domestic violence restraining order, with the omission of items relating to an intimate or family relationship. The process for the issuance of a TRO and “permanent” (up to 5 years) restraining order are likewise applicable to CVRO’s.
Elder or Dependent Adult Restraining Orders
Elder or dependent adult restraining orders can be issued in favor of a dependent adult or any person who is 65 years of age or older. If a dependent adult has a conservator or a trustee, that person may also request a restraining order on behalf of the dependent adult, as can an attorney or guardian ad litem, or the adult protective agency of the county in which the dependent adult resides. The contents of such a protective order will be along the same lines as those for domestic violence and civil harassment.
Workplace Violence Restraining Orders
Although workplace violence can include many different activities, only an employer may request a workplace violence protective order. The order can be based upon violence or threats at the workplace, by phone, by mail, or in person. They can also include actions such as following an employee to or from work. Finally, a workplace violence restraining order can include threats against the household members or family of an employee. Once again, if a workplace violence protective order is issued, it will likely contain provisions similar to those issued in connection with other protective orders. The order can be issued in favor of the employee, the employee’s spouse, other employees, board members, volunteers, and even independent contractors.
Violations of Restraining Orders
What happens if there is an alleged violation of a restraining order? The result will depend in part upon your prior history with restraining orders. For example:
- A restraining order violation in and of itself, if proven, is generally a misdemeanor under PC 273.6. It is punishable by up to a year in jail, plus a fine of up to $1,000.
- A subsequent violation within seven years, in some cases, will be a wobbler, that is, it could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
- A second violation of a domestic violence restraining order within one year of the first conviction for a violation, resulting in physical injury to a victim, is likewise a wobbler.
Obviously, restraining order violations are taken very seriously by the courts.
Defending Restraining Order Violations
While it might appear simple to show that a restraining order violation has occurred, in fact there are numerous possible defenses that can be raised, depending upon the circumstances. They include:
- Lack of Intent to Violate Order. This defense will rely on the assertion that you were not aware of the existence of the restraining order, and/or were unaware that the conduct alleged against you constituted a violation of the court order. Alternatively, you could argue that although you were aware of the restraining order, you did not reasonably understand that your conduct constituted a violation.
- Lack of Evidence. When examining the evidence presented by the prosecution, there may be misstatements, inconsistencies, or other inaccuracies in the testimony or other evidence presented by the prosecutor. This could result in the dismissal of the charges against you.
- False Testimony. Particularly in divorce cases (and cases of couples breaking up), the relationship between the parties has usually deteriorated, and anger may play a large part in their dealings with one another. This can lead to retaliation, and one method of retaliating is to obtain a restraining order aimed at the other party and based upon misstatements calculated to deceive the court. An experienced protective order attorney can successfully defend against these types of accusations.
There may be times, and this is not at all unusual, when the person who obtained the restraining order will reach out to you. They may ask to speak to you on the phone, to meet you in person, or similar requests. If you take action prohibited by the restraining order, note that it is still a violation of the court order, even when the action is requested by the plaintiff in the case. Remember that the terms of the order are controlled by the court, and not by the person protected under it. As a result, the plaintiff may not unilaterally “waive” the prohibitions or requirements of a protective order without the consent of the court.
Restraining Order Lawyer in Los Angeles, CA
Violation of a restraining order (or protective order) is a serious matter. It is usually a misdemeanor, but in some cases can be charged as a felony. If you are facing a protective order, contact an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to guide you through the process. At CBS Law, we understand the procedure for obtaining these orders, and for seeking to have them dismissed or revised. Call us to find out how we can help in your case at (213) 800-8005
Having a temporary restraining order filed against you can turn your world upside down. You may not be able to see your partner and/or your children or go back to your home. Your family and friends could turn on you because they believe you committed a crime. Many times, the courts will believe an alleged victim and you will not have as much of a chance of defending yourself. The best chance you have of getting the restraining order lifted or fighting a violation of a TRO charge is to hire an experienced temporary restraining order attorney like CBS Law.
Christopher J. Bou Saeed Founding Attorney of CBS Law