A domestic abuse restraining order is a court order that protects an abused victim from harm, threats, or harassment by the person the restraining order is imposed against. The protected person is the one who obtains this order. Before a judge hears and rules on their domestic violence case, a victim of domestic violence can seek a court order allowing them protection from their abuser. Knowing how courts issue restraining orders, what they entail, and what to do if one has been issued against you is helpful.

A knowledgeable attorney who handles restraining orders can assist you in comprehending the legal ramifications of the order against you and your options. They can even help you obtain one or contest the order in court. Our goal at the Restraining Order Law Firm is to ensure that victims of domestic violence are safe and those restrained by a court order receive a fair trial. Thus, you can contact us with any questions or for help with a domestic violence restraining order in Los Angeles.

An Overview of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

Domestic violence affects all people, regardless of gender or social status. The law takes domestic violence cases seriously. That is why there are legal measures in place to keep victims of domestic abuse safe even before the conclusion of their case. For example, victims can obtain a court order for protection against further abuse.

Domestic violence is abuse committed against people in an intimate relationship. It can take many different forms. The most typical forms are as follows:

  • Sexual abuse—forced sexual contact, intimacy, or penetration that occurs against the victim's will.
  • Physical abuse—all actions that physically harm the victim, like kicking, slapping, hair-pulling, and pushing.
  • Psychological abuse— you harass the victim or threaten to hurt them. Emotional abuse includes all kinds of threats to force the victim into doing what they are unwilling to do. For example, threatening to reveal the victim's private details to degrade or humiliate them.
  • Financial abuse—withholding the victim's need for economic resources, leaving them dependent on you.

Domestic abuse also entails making threats of sexual, physical, emotional, psychological, or financial abuse. Threats could also result in a restraining order against you.

Domestic violence charges can also stem from behaviors like:

  • Disturbing the victim's peace.
  • Stalking.
  • Damaging property.
  • Breaking into the victim's home.
  • Visiting their place of work against their will.

A person can report to the police if someone close to them abuses or threatens to abuse them. The police investigate domestic violence allegations, gather evidence, and help the victim in any way they can. For example, they can assist the victim in obtaining a protective order against the abuser. They will file the case with a prosecutor once they have a solid case against the abuser.

The prosecutor can charge you with domestic violence if the case has merit. Sadly, these cases are frequently not resolved quickly enough to help domestic abuse victims. The abuser can still be a threat to the victim while the case is pending. Thus, domestic abuse victims can lawfully seek a protective order against their abuser pending the court's ruling.

Court-issued orders called restraining orders or protective orders protect victims of domestic violence. The victim must be experiencing or in danger of experiencing economic, emotional, psychological, or bodily abuse at the hands of someone close to them. As the domestic violence case is still pending, the protected person seeks protection against the restrained person to feel secure. The restrained must comply with the order's precise guidelines and requirements. For example, the order can prevent the abuser from approaching or contacting the protected person.

Here are the most common types of domestic violence restraining orders under California law:

A Temporary Restraining Order

The police can make an arrest when responding to a domestic violence situation. It is considered that the individual who calls for assistance is the victim. In these circumstances, the police act swiftly to make arrests to safeguard the victim and anyone in danger of abuse. But the detained person can still post bond and return to the streets a few hours after being taken into custody. If the victim is in danger of more abuse, this does little to help the issue. The judge can then order a TRO to prevent the alleged abuser from contacting the victim until the domestic violence case is resolved.

The victim must complete specific documentation when requesting a TRO to justify their need for a restraining order against their abuser. The judge will impose a protective order if they think the victim has a reasonable basis to obtain one. The judge will outline the restrictions regarding the accused victim and the order's duration in the protective order. The protected person must also ensure the restrained person receives the order. TROs often last twenty to twenty-five days until the court hears and rules on your domestic violence case.

Emergency Protective Orders (EPO)

An emergency protection order can be issued against the alleged abuser to protect them from the alleged victim. They are given when the police respond to a domestic abuse incident, and an officer determines that a person is in grave danger. In cases of severe domestic violence, police officers are permitted to request an emergency order of protection for the abused party from the judge. An officer can obtain an EPO at any time of day or night. EPOs often have an instant effect and are valid for seven days. As a result, if an officer secures an EPO against an abuser, they will be immediately barred from speaking with or approaching the victim and could even be asked to vacate their house.

The victim is given enough time before the EPO expires to obtain a TRO against their abuser if they are concerned for their safety before the end of their case.

Permanent Restraining Orders

The underlying domestic violence case will continue once a judge issues a TRO until the issuing of the final verdict. The judge will sentence the perpetrator if they are guilty of domestic abuse. The sentence can include prison time, jail time, or probation. The judge will throw out the case if the jury finds the alleged abuser not guilty. They will eventually be back on the streets in any case.

The victim can obtain a permanent protective order against the alleged abuser if they continuously feel at risk of violence or abuse from them. That will prevent the restrained person from approaching the victim or anyone else at risk of violence or harm.

Permanent protective orders can remain in effect for up to five years. The victim will acquire another protective order against the abuser if they still feel they require court protection after five years.

The Negative Implications of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders on The Restrained Person

Domestic violence restraining orders are typically established to safeguard and provide temporary or permanent safety for victims of domestic abuse. Here are some of the negative consequences of a protective order issued against you:

  • It stops you from interfering with the victim or their loved ones through threats, physical abuse, harassment, or abuse by email or text.
  • It can grant the alleged victim total authority over whatever assets you jointly own, including electronics, bank accounts, a car, a property, or household goods.
  • It can order you to return any personal property belonging to the alleged victim.
  • It can prevent you from obtaining or owning a handgun.
  • It can lead to the police forcibly removing you from your house or property and preventing you from returning.
  • It can prevent you from visiting some crucial places, like your home, office, or the school your children attend.
  • It can require you to pay your victim's legal expenses.
  • It can order you to reimburse the alleged victim for any costs incurred during the alleged abuse period, including medical and ambulance expenses, rent, and lost wages due to missed work.

The claimed victim can seek the judge's order to pay child support if you have children together to make sure the kids are taken care of. The judge decides which of you will have custody of the children and if the other parent should have visitation privileges.

The court will also consider the specifics of your case when determining what should be in your restraining order.

The Process of Obtaining a Restraining Order and the Court Process

If you are a domestic violence victim, you can obtain a restraining order against your abuser if they have suffered abuse or violence under their care. The following are crucial actions you must take to receive and implement the order:

Request for a Protective Order

You must request a restraining order through a court process. An exception to this is in extreme circumstances, where the police can seek an emergency protective order on your behalf. You will apply through a court clerk, who provides you with a form to complete in which you must provide your personal information and the justification for requesting an order of protection.

You must complete and submit all the paperwork for the protective order to be valid. Additionally, you must serve the restrained person with the order within the agreed time frames. The order will be in effect once the restrained person receives it.

Attend a Court Hearing

Remember that criminal courts issue protective orders while a criminal case against the subject of the restraint is ongoing. The judge sets a hearing date for the case to decide whether to lift or maintain the restraining order. You must attend this hearing with your legal counsel to guarantee that your interests are protected. The restrained person will also be legally represented in court.

The judge decides whether you correctly served the restrained person with the restraining order during the hearing. Note that you can lawfully ask the police, your attorney, or an adult relative to aid in serving the restraining order because you are not required to come any closer to them.

You must also ensure that the restrained person knows about the court order. They are also entitled to respond to the accusations against them.

The judge will hear the arguments you and your alleged abuser make and consider the evidence you submit to give the final ruling. The court can lift the restraining order if the judge is convinced that the other party is no longer threatening your peace or safety. However, this ruling will not affect the underlying domestic violence case. On the other hand, the judge will maintain the restraining order if the court determines that you or your loved ones are at risk of threat or violence by the restrained person. The judge can even impose a permanent restraining order against your abuser.

The Terms of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

A domestic violence restraining order details the domestic violence victim's issues and the limitations that will apply to the restrained person after the court order is issued. The restrained person must read and comprehend the protection order once they receive it to know its implications. Note that violating any protective order requirements carries serious consequences, like facing arrest and new criminal charges. To learn how to honor the terms of the order and challenge it in court, they can seek the assistance of a skilled lawyer.

The specifics of a protection order differ significantly from case to case. But all orders contain limitations preventing the person under restraint from contacting the alleged victim and the victim's family. The restrained person must not establish communication with the victim, according to the order. Here are some circumstances that could qualify as making contact with a protected person:

  • Physically abusing or harassing the victim or members of the victim's family.
  • Direct communication with the victim or their loved ones, including approaching or coming close to them within a specified distance.
  • Calling, emailing, or texting them.
  • Interacting with the victim on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  • Any other way of monitoring the victim.

The order can also require the restrained person to take the following actions:

  • Turn over any gun they own to the authorities.
  • To pay child support if they have children together with the alleged victim.
  • Pay the protected person’s specified bills.
  • Not to alter their insurance policy in any way.
  • Restitute or release a specific item to the victim.
  • Achieve a particular rehabilitative goal, like completing a batterer intervention program.

A restrained person can violate a protective order when they fail to adhere to any of the restrictions placed on them. The police will obtain an arrest warrant that gives them the right to arrest the person immediately. The prosecutor will file criminal charges against them after the arrest. The prosecutor must demonstrate the following for the court to find the restrained person guilty of violating a protective order:

  • The person was the subject of a restraining order imposed by a judge.
  • They were aware of the order's requirements.
  • But they willfully violated its conditions.

Protective order violations are typically misdemeanor offenses with a maximum one-year prison sentence and a $1,000 court fine. But prosecutors can bring felony charges in some cases, which are punishable by three years in jail.

The Consequences of a Protective Order to the Restrained Person

A restraining order limits what a restrained person can and cannot do. It can alter their lives entirely, especially if it keeps them from living in their house, going to locations they like, or even working. If they are compelled to hunt for an alternate place to live or a different way of making a living, it could cause severe financial troubles.

It is challenging if they share a child or children with the protected person but are forbidden from contacting them. The order will also impact their children because they cannot spend time with both parents.

A violation of a restraining order results in additional criminal charges. A guilty verdict could result in a damaging criminal record that will impact many aspects of a restrained person’s life. For example, it could make it hard for them to find a job, make new friends, or even find a suitable neighborhood to rent in. Some domestic violence cases can also affect the person’s immigration status, resulting in deportation.

For this reason, a restrained person needs the assistance of a knowledgeable restraining order lawyer if they want to challenge the order and other claims of domestic abuse made against them. They can compel the judge to lift the order and reduce or dismiss the underlying charges, provided they have competent legal representation. An attorney also makes the legal process manageable for them.

Find a Competent Restraining Order Attorney Near Me

Do you or someone you know in Los Angeles need a restraining order or have a restraining order against them?

It is crucial to seek the help of an experienced restraining order lawyer to obtain one or fully comprehend the terms and restrictions of the order. An attorney can walk you through the legal process to receive an order to keep you safe from your abuser. They can help the restrained person fight a restraining order in court before it entirely interrupts their life.

Our Restraining Order Law Firm team has extensive expertise handling various restraining order issues. As a result, we possess the knowledge and expertise necessary to help your case succeed. Contact us at 424-600-7691 to learn more about domestic violence restraining orders and our services.