If you have a protective order, also known as a restraining order, against you, you may have many questions. You may be wondering what is considered a violation of the order, how long the order will last, what happens if you do violate it, and should you hire an attorney. No matter your questions or your situation, our Orange County restraining order lawyers are here to help defend you against accusations of a violation and any other domestic violence issue.

What is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a legal order issued by a judge. Each order has its own terms and conditions and can be emergency, temporary, or permanent. The purpose of these actions is to protect someone from physical abuse, harassment, stalking, or threats. Each order is specific as to exactly what type of behaviors are prohibited and generally restricts the other party from any type of contact with the person under protection.

Contact is usually defined by:

  • Physically being within a specified distance of the protected individual
  • Text messages and telephone calls
  • Emails
  • Social networking interactions
  • Surveillance of any type

Duration of Restraining Orders in Orange County

Emergency protective orders are issued in an emergency situation. Due to their nature, they are generally requested by police officers upon responding to a call for domestic violence. If someone is in immediate danger, the officer can call a judge to issue an emergency order. These orders are good for up to seven days. After that, the victim needs to request further action from a judge as needed.

Orange County temporary restraining orders can last for approximately two or three weeks. They can be issued by a judge when an emergency order has expired or if the victim is being harassed. Prior to the expiration of a temporary order, usually, the court will have a hearing to determine if a permanent order needs to be issued.

Permanent restraining orders are not issued until a hearing has taken place. During this hearing, both the victim and the person whom the order is against will have the opportunity to speak to the judge. It is best to have your local attorneys present at this restraining order hearing.

The judge will then decide if a permanent order needs to be issued, and if so, what types of terms and conditions the order should include. At this time, the judge can also issue other orders such as moving out of the family home or paying for the victim’s court costs in relation to the order. Permanent orders can last for about three years although they can be extended if needed.

Contesting a Protective Order

If you desire to contest a restraining order, you need Orange County’s leading domestic violence law firm of Marlin Stapleton Jr. and Scott D. Henry on your side. With over 30 years of combined experience, Mr. Stapleton, and Mr. Henry know how to best get a restraining order request dismissed. They are familiar with the appropriate legal arguments that can be used and how to convince a judge that the requested order is unnecessary.

Violating a Restraining Order

As per Penal Code 273.6 PC, it is a crime to intentionally violate a restraining order in the State of California. Although there are many different ways that a restraining or protective order can be violated, examples of such a violation can include:

  • A protective order is in place stating that you cannot make contact of any sort with your ex-fiance, even so, you attempt to call and text her several times a day.
  • A restraining order has been issued with the conditions that you do not act violently towards the mother of your children, however, you grab her around the neck and make threats to harm her further if she does not get the order lifted.
  • According to the issued protective order, you are not allowed to own any firearms until the order expires, yet you keep your three firearms and do not give them up to the proper authorities.
  • A restraining order is in place preventing you from going near your family home, yet you go anyway to sit on the steps and wait for your husband to come home.

Defenses for Violating a Restraining Order

If there has a restraining order issued against you, not adhering to its terms and conditions can lead to a charge of contempt of court by not obeying the order. In order to be convicted of such actions, the following facts must be proven by the prosecutor:

  • A legal protective order was in place and issued by a judge – It is possible that the wrong court was used to issue the order or that there was no legal basis for it to begin with.
  • You were aware of the order – California law requires that anyone named in a restraining order must be notified of that order. This can happen if the person being restrained is present in court when the order is issued, if that person is notified by a police officer who gives them the order, or an officer simply verbally notifies them.
  • You knowingly violated the order – Intent must be proven when it comes to violating a protective order. If you simply run into the person who had the order issued at the local movie theater or at a party and you maintain your distance and leave once you know they are there, you have not intentionally violated the order.

Depending on your specific circumstance, there are several defenses that our Orange County lawyers can use if you have been accused of violating a protective order. These include:

  • The protective order was not legally issued by the judge
  • You were never informed of the restraining order
  • You did not intentionally violate the order
  • You have been falsely accused of a protective order violation

Mr. Stapleton and Mr. Henry could personally and carefully examine all of the evidence and details of your restraining order violation case in order to determine the best defenses to use. Their goal is to get the charges against you dropped.

Even if you have not violated a protective order, but know there is one in place against you, it is wise to contact our qualified attorneys in order to make sure there are grounds for such an order to be in place and that it is legitimate. It is better to nip legal problems in the bud by doing this than to fight a contempt of court charge if it all possible.

Penalties for a Restraining Order Violation

Penalties for violating a protective order can vary. Dependent upon whether you have violated the order previously or if the victim suffered from physical injuries, you may see steeper penalties. If convicted of a felony for violating such an order you could face as many as three years in the California state prison whereas if you are convicted of a misdemeanor you could be sentenced to one year in county jail. Additional penalties could include:

  • Victim restitution to cover counseling or medical services that are needed due to the offense
  • Court fines and penalties
  • Mandatory counseling
  • Mandatory relinquishment of firearms and losing the right to acquire any new ones during the duration of the protective order

Speak with an Orange County Restraining Order Attorney

If you are facing any type of domestic violence charge or protective order, it’s time to call an Orange County restraining order lawyer who has the experience and knowledge to provide you with the best representation. This significantly increases your chances of a positive outcome.

We can provide you with such a criminal defense attorney. Mr. Stapleton is known throughout the area’s legal system for winning cases that are deemed “unwinnable.” Mr. Henry is known for being personable, aggressive in his defenses, and knowledgeable. If you are facing criminal charges, including those for domestic violence or violating a restraining order, look no further than our team.

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