Everything You Need To Know About Restraining Orders

Have you ever heard about a restraining order? Restraining orders are used to prevent harassment and threats. But, many people need to understand how they work, which can confuse most. Read on to learn the fundamentals of restraining orders and ease your confusion. Find out who can file one, what happens during a criminal court hearing, and how to get help.

What Does a Restraining Order Do?

A restraining order is a court order. It has the authority to order the restrained person to:

  • Not communicate with you or any member of your family.
  • Never get close to you, your kids, or other household members.
  • Stay away from your workplace, school, or children's school.
  • Do not carry a gun.

When the court issues a restraining order, authorities enter it into a statewide computer system, which means law enforcement personnel throughout California know the restraining order.

Defining Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

A TRO or Temporary Restraining Order is a written directive issued by a court or judge that protects persons from domestic violence, civil harassment, workplace violence, and elder abuse for a limited time. The court order is usually decided during criminal proceedings.

This court order prohibits the abuser from contacting and abusing the victim (i.e., the person seeking the TRO).

Restraining Order vs. Protective Order

Under California Law, restraining and protective orders are essentially the same. Both are court orders intended to protect a person from:

  • Harassment;
  • Physical violence;
  • Stalking; or
  • Threats.

The exact charge will specify what activity is or is not forbidden. Still, it will almost certainly include terms requiring the restricted person to avoid contact with the protected individual.

Contact typically means:

  • Direct contact (that is, coming within a specific distance of that person);
  • Text messages or phone calls;
  • E-mails; and
  • Interactions on social networking sites like Facebook, as well as any surveillance.

When Might a Restraining Order Be Granted?

Restraining orders are only a preventative measure; their sole purpose is to stop the harassment. Examples of typical situations in which a restraining order may be granted include:

  • There is proof that the accused targeted the victim in some way (for instance, criminal damage).
  • Circumstances where the perpetrator and the victim are acquainted or have previously shared a close relationship (such as domestic violence cases).
  • Both sides are in constant communication (for example, if the defendant and victim own a small firm).

Before the authorities can impose a restraining order, the victim must provide evidence that a crime has been committed against them.

What Are the Legal Grounds of a Restraining Order?

Before requesting an order, there must be proof of harassment or risk of violence (or further violence) against the victim. Authorities may issue a restraining order against someone if they do the following:

  • Abused (or threatened to harm you);
  • Aggressively harassed you;
  • Sexually assaulted you;
  • Stalked you, and
  • It made you feel frightened or annoyed.

A restraining order can safeguard the victim, whether the abuser is a close family member or a stranger.

How To Get a Restraining Order?

Protective order processes entail numerous steps. A person who wants a restraining order may complete the necessary paperwork before a court or have an attorney do it on their behalf. The initial form demands that you explain the circumstance and its danger.

After reviewing this statement, the court will determine whether or not to grant you a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). It can occur without the restrained person being present.

Typically, the TRO will continue for a few weeks. After that, the court will hold a hearing to decide whether or not to grant the applicant's request for a permanent restraining order.

Legally-binding and valid protection orders have a 5-year expiration date. Without a jury, all sides will present their evidence to the judge, who will then determine whether or not to impose the restraining order.

How Long Do Restraining Orders Last?

Depending on the type of restraining order you received, the length of the order stays on your record. There are different types of restraining orders, and each has specific rules.

If you were issued a temporary restraining order against you, it would be visible to law enforcement personnel for 14 days or until your court date. The court will remove your restraining order from your file if it becomes rejected during the hearing. If the judge rules against it, it will nevertheless remain.

Breaching a Restraining Order

According to California Penal Code 166, you may be charged with a crime if you knowingly violate a court order, like a restraining order. A protective order violation is regarded as contempt of court.

You may face charges under Penal Code 273.6 if the violation of the court order causes injury. Criminal charges, a criminal conviction, and a mark on your records could follow the breach. In addition, the court may impose jail time and penalties for contempt of court for violating a restraining order.

A competent criminal defense lawyer may be able to dispute a violation by bringing up several defenses. You should hire a criminal defense lawyer if you get charged with breaking a restraining order in California.

Can You Appeal a Restraining Order?

The majority of restraining orders are court-issued decisions. Therefore you may appeal to them. A restraining order can be changed or reversed, but it may be complex. If you're considering appealing a restraining order, read this.

The Right Response

Your response to the restraining order can make all the difference. It would be best to get a notification when a restraining order is requested or filed against you. Be polite and attempt to control your emotions if you receive the notice in court; even though you might not be able to win your case there and then, you could certainly cause some damage.

Therefore, let your attorney provide any legal arguments in court.

Most states give a form or directions for responding to the temporary order, whether you get noticed by mail or in person. For instance, California offers an information sheet that addresses queries ranging from how long the order will be in effect to how it can affect your citizenship or a green card. Before you have the option to appeal, make sure to follow any directives and not disobey any temporary orders.

The Right Hearing

You will be required to appear at a hearing or, more likely, to submit a response to the restraining order. In most cases, the court will schedule a hearing to review the order. If not, you can request one. Remember your court date. It might be your only opportunity to challenge the restraining order.

You should gather evidence to back up your claims before your court date. On the day of your court appearance, be sure to have any witnesses, recordings, or papers available. What you'll need should be explained to you by your lawyer.

You should submit an appeal and ask for a new court date if you wish to modify or terminate a restraining order after your hearing has already taken place. Make sure you have proof of compliance with the original order and any evidence of changes in circumstances after filing the first restraining order, just like you did at your initial hearing.

The best person to contact if you want to appeal a restraining order is an experienced civil court lawyer. Get in touch with one in your area right now.

Schedule a Consultation With Our Los Angeles Civil Harassment Restraining Order Attorney

Let us help you find an effective solution to your problem. While the laws surrounding restraining orders can be complex, our Los Angeles civil harassment restraining order attorneys at Hurwitz Law Group have the experience and knowledge to guide you through the process.

We can explain your legal rights and support you by protecting your family. We can also work with you to build a comprehensive civil harassment restraining order that will prohibit stalking, invasion of privacy, or publication of private facts, as well as other types of behavior that may damage you.

We will fight vigorously to protect your rights, assets, and safety. If you are ready to start, please fill out our contact form or call us at (323) 310-9677 for a free, confidential consultation.

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