Anyone without a thorough understanding of California criminal or civil laws could feel overwhelmed by the thought of seeking or contesting a restraining order. But you shouldn’t worry because a restraining order attorney can help you. If you reside in the Los Angeles area and need assistance with your domestic or dating restraining order, you contact the Restraining Order Law Firm for legal help.

Understanding What Dating Violence Entails

Dating violence refers to any violent act carried out by one individual against someone with whom they have been in a romantic relationship or intimate.

It can involve a wide range of acts, but the accuser (also known as the victim) and the person being accused (also known as the offender) must share a romantic or intimate relationship. This feature, the relationship between the offender and the victim, sets it apart from other types of violence.

The defendant must be either the victim's present or former husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or lover. California's statute does not define "dating violence"; instead, it uses the phrase to refer to a wider range of violent relationships. It can also be called intimate partner violence/. There should have been prior or current intimate or sexual ties between the accused and the victim.

However, the term "domestic violence" is defined under California law. Dating violence is a type of domestic violence, a broad category of crimes that are vigorously pursued in California and punishable in several ways. Restraining orders are important tools used by California courts to address domestic abuse and dating violence.

Dating Violence Restraining Orders

A restraining order (RO) is a specific court directive granted by the court to regulate the actions of an accused party (the "restrained individual"). They have a wide range of options for what they can demand the offender to do (or not to do).

In California, domestic violence restraining orders—restraining orders that encompass dating violence—are sometimes known as dating violence restraining orders.

Domestic violence restraining orders can only be issued if the offender has a certain type of relationship with the victim. In California, it could be anybody including, a spouse or ex-spouse, a parent or child, an officially recognized domestic partner, a roommate, a sibling, or any other close relative.

Dating violence restraining orders are essentially domestic violence restraining orders in which the victims are or have been intimately tied to someone other than a member of their immediate family.

The "protected individual" is the recipient of the restraining order's protective measures, whereas the "restrained individual" is the intended recipient of a restraining order.

Domestic violence restraining orders could also safeguard other persons, such as the protected party's loved ones, based upon the court’s decision to organize the restraining order according to the terms of the particular instructions it provides.

The reason for this is that studies have revealed that intimate partner violence and especially dating violence are not isolated incidents but rather systematic forms of abuse that occur over many years.

That implies that if the accused abuses a victim within a more intimate context, there is a great possibility that they would utilize other persons who are likewise closely associated with the accuser as a means to further their abuse. If the offender wants to scare the accuser's loved ones or intensify the degree of abuse presently heaped upon the victim, they may resort to abusing them too.

As a result of this, the court can additionally put down an exhaustive list of directions that the accused must comply with to avoid further legal issues. Should they fail to comply, they risk criminal prosecution for a protective or restraining order violation under California PC 273.6. The DA'S office would file charges and lead the prosecution against the accused.

What Consequences of Violating Dating Violence Restraining Orders?

Restraining orders must be followed strictly and with no exceptions. Failing to do this is an offense under California PC 273.6. Under this law, it is made clear that violating a protective or restraining order has legal consequences for the defendant.

Given that domestic and dating restraining orders are essentially the same, the order imposed by the judge is a civil order. This indicates the victim has sought an order of protection from the court against their spouse or domestic partner.

As a result, a breach of PC § 273.6 effectively changes a civil case to a criminal case. To get a conviction, the district attorney needs to only show that the defendant disregarded the court's orders deliberately, purposefully, or maliciously.

The district attorney may choose to pursue it as a misdemeanor or a felony. The offense "wobbles" between the more serious felony category and the less serious misdemeanor category, also called a "wobbler."

The prosecutor selects which allegations to pursue depending on the accused person's prior record of conviction or arrest and the particulars of the offense at hand. This could involve information such as if the offender has a criminal history of comparable offenses or if the victim suffered major injuries as a result of the violence.

Either one of these scenarios would very probably result in the filing of a criminal charge and, as a result, more severe repercussions.

If found guilty of violating a restraining order, the offender faces a maximum of three years in state prison if convicted of a felony or a period of one year in jail if convicted of a misdemeanor.

In addition to being ordered to provide compensation to the accuser, the court will also demand that the offender pay any applicable fines and court fees. The judge could also require obligatory therapy for domestic violence or anger management, especially if it was included in the requirements of the initial restraining order violated by the offender.

In addition, the court will impose a ban on purchasing any further firearms and mandate that any existing firearms be turned in.

What Can a Court Require in Dating Violence Restraining Orders?

The judge who is in charge of supervising the provision and compliance of the restraining order gets plenty of wiggle room when it comes to directing the accused not to participate in or carry out certain acts.

A restraining order is a strong instrument that could be tremendously useful to a plaintiff who is looking for relief, but it can also be tremendously damaging to an accused party who was unfairly or wrongfully charged.

Domestic violence restraining orders could include the following limitations in cases of dating violence:

Prohibiting All Contact With the Victim

Under this stipulation, the offender is strictly forbidden from making any kind of contact with the stated victim. This includes any methods of contact, whether by phone, email, social media, or text messaging. This is nearly always the first condition that is violated (and it is done so rather often as well).

The Protected Individual Must Not Be Watched, Stalked, Disturbed, or Assaulted

The act of obsessively watching or stalking a victim typically involves sexual provocation and a sense of control over them. It is consistent with the kind of conduct one would anticipate in an abusive romantic relationship.

Many of these actions, such as stalking (under PC 646.9), or assault (PC 240), are criminal offenses by themselves and will therefore be charged along with any breach of the protective orders.

Maintaining Only Peaceful Interactions With the Victim

The aforementioned exception is rare and only applies in cases when contact between the accused and the victim is necessary for the welfare of the minor children involved, the effective exercise of shared custody, or supervised parental visits.

Both sides are free to communicate with one another so long as it is amicable and respectful. However, the offender will be prosecuted for violating the restraining order immediately if any violent or aggressive conduct arises.

Always Maintain a Safe Distance From the Victim

This stipulation makes it clear that the defendant must maintain a certain minimum distance (often 300 ft) from the victim and their residence, place of education or work, and/or vehicle at all times.

In addition to this, the court may order the defendant to maintain a distance of no less than three hundred feet from the victim's friends and relatives as well as anybody else who has any relationship with the victim in any way. If the accused has a history of violence or abuse, the required minimum distance could be increased.

Leaving a Shared House or Residence

This stipulation instructs the offender to vacate whatever common residence they may have had with the accused. If the pair have been married and the divorce proceedings have already begun, then regardless of whether the accused party owns the house where they live, they could be required to leave until the process is finalized, even though the couple has children together.

To Surrender All Weapons and Refrain From Buying Any More 

To Comply With Court-Ordered Counseling and/or Therapy

This stipulation mandates that the defendant participates in court-ordered counseling (for example, anger management or domestic violence programs). The purpose of this instruction is to make a concerted effort to help the defendant get out of the abusive cycle in which they could find themselves trapped.

There is a possibility that the restraining orders will contain some, all, or none of these stipulations. If the defendant is found guilty of violating any of these, the district attorney will automatically pursue charges.

In addition, the restraining orders will often demand that the offender must maintain a safe distance not just from the accuser but also from anybody who is connected to the victim. Because of the horrifying instances in which abusers assaulted or killed the victim's pets to perpetrate more torture on their victim, the court could even mandate that the perpetrators refrain from having any sort of interaction with the accuser's pets.

How Do I Acquire a Restraining Order and Have It Served?

The victim must convince the Court that they are in danger from their romantic partner to get legal protection. As a rule of thumb, this is quite simple to do since the evidence standard that must be satisfied is that of "justifiable proof."

This stands in stark contrast to the prosecutor's "beyond a shadow of a doubt" requirement that they must adhere to while seeking a conviction. The following are some examples of proof that might be deemed sufficient to obtain the issue of restraining orders: writing or recording of threats (including voicemail messages, emails, posts on social media, and texts), eyewitness testimony, any health care documentation, and any police statements.

After that, the court has the authority to impose a Temporary Restraining Order, which typically remains in effect for up to 30 days. Once the court grants a TRO, it needs to be issued to the individual named in it (the restrained individual).

This is done to make sure they understand the limits placed on their actions. It's meant to let them know they will have a chance to challenge the restraining order at a Permanent Restraining Order hearing, which will be scheduled at another time. The documentation will provide the date as well as the time that the hearing will take place.

The document will also outline the particular reasons why the accuser is requesting a restraining order from the judge. The accused party will have sufficient time to gather evidence supporting their side of the story and to file a motion to object to the restraining order's terms before it becomes final. In most cases, a PRO hearing will take place within thirty days.

Because this documentation is essential for the person being accused, it can't be sent through mail but rather must be immediately given to the offender in a procedure called "serving." It could be carried out by people who serve legal documents, known as process servers, or law enforcement officers.

Frequently Asked Questions On Dating Violence Restraining Orders

Below are a few questions that will help you learn more about dating violence restraining orders:

Who Qualifies For a Dating Violence Restraining Order?

Not everyone is eligible to get a restraining order. To be eligible for restraining orders, the victims should have been subjected to repeated abusive conduct by someone with whom they're presently or were formerly in a romantic relationship.

It is also relevant for couples who are dating, irrespective of if they stay together, as well as for couples who are cohabitating, irrespective of if they have an official declaration of their romantic relations.

What are the Consequences of Violating the Restraining Order?

For violating a restraining order in California, like in most jurisdictions, the offender faces arrest and perhaps jail time. In the state of California, disobeying restraining orders is a serious offense. If such problems arise, it is recommended that the plaintiff file a report with the authorities as soon as feasible.

Where Can I Get a Restraining Order For Domestic Violence?

You can get a restraining order by going to the court that is located in your locality, or more specifically, the location to which you escaped for safety after the assault. You are required to apply for restraining orders to the local family or district court in the area that is located closest to you.

Can the Conditions Of a Restraining Order Be Altered?

A restraining order's conditions can be modified. Both the victim and the perpetrator have the right to petition the court for a modification of this order. If you wish to make adjustments to the decision at a future date, you need to request the members of the jury. Any modifications to the order will need another court hearing, which both the victim and the accused must attend.

What Happens to the Restraining Order When I Relocate?

A restraining order will not be impacted in any manner, regardless of whether you relocate to another country or remain inside California, as it will continue to be legally binding according to the laws of California regardless of where you live. "Full faith and credit," a provision of federal legislation, ensures that a person's criminal and civil protection orders are honored in all jurisdictions, including tribal areas and territories of the United States.

What Options Do I Have If I Am Unable to Get a Restraining Order Due to Dating Violence?

Keep in mind that dating violence restraining orders might not be available to you depending on the specifics of your case. A DVRO could be denied, for example, if you are unable to offer sufficient evidence of your intimate interactions with the opponent. However, if you feel unsafe, you do have options, such as filing a civil harassment restraining order for protection.

Find a Restraining Order Attorney Near Me

Some of these rules concerning domestic violence could be difficult to understand and daunting to deal with if you are not a legal professional. If you want to effectively navigate court proceedings and get the proper kind of justice that you're seeking, it's necessary to have a competent and seasoned attorney on your team. At the Restraining Order Law Firm, we are here for you.

Our Los Angeles lawyers have extensive experience with restraining order matters, having worked on countless cases involving dating violence. If you'd like to talk to an attorney about a dating violence restraining order, you can contact our law firm today. Whether you are the accused or victim of domestic violence, we can help you with your restraining order case. Call us today at 424-600-7691.