Understanding Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in California
A domestic violence restraining order is a court-issued order designed to protect a person from abuse at the hands of another individual with whom they have a close relationship. These orders can be issued against a current or former spouse, domestic partner, or romantic partner. They can also be issued against a relative or person who lives under the same roof as the victim. Family law attorney Drummond T. McCunn offers domestic abuse victims compassionate and effective legal representation. If you are a victim of domestic violence in Granite Bay, CA, or a surrounding area, he can help keep you safe and provide guidance on filing a restraining order.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence in California?
The California Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA) aims to provide immediate legal protection for victims of physical and emotional domestic violence. Under The DVPA, the following acts may be considered abuse:
- Causing or attempting to cause injury
- Placing an individual in imminent danger
- Engaging in a variety of potentially illegal acts including molestation, sexual assault, stalking, striking, battering, harassing, destroying property, contacting or coming within a certain distance of the victim, or disturbing the peace
A domestic violence restraining order can be an important step to ensure that you and your children remain safe.
What Is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?
In California, you can file for a domestic violence restraining order if you have been abused or threatened and you and the responsible party have a close relationship. That person may be a husband, wife, domestic partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, parent, close relative, or someone who lives in the same house as you do. A restraining order requires the restrained person to follow certain guidelines. They must:
- Not contact or go near you or your family
- Stay away from your home, place of work, vehicle, and your child’s school
- Move out if you live together
- Not own a gun
- Follow child visitation and custody orders
- Pay child support and spousal or partner support
- Refrain from making alterations to insurance policies
- Refrain from incurring large expenses or taking other action that might affect you or the property you own
A domestic violence restraining order can be an important step to ensure that you and your children are safe. If the restrained individual violates his or her restraining order, he or she may be jailed or required to pay fines, or both.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Your safety matters above all else. For that reason, it is imperative that you hire a family law attorney to guide you through the process of filing a domestic violence restraining order. For example, you will need to choose from several types of restraining orders:
- Emergency Protective Order (EPO) – A police officer can call a judge at any time and ask for an emergency protective order. EPOs are effective immediately and can last up to a week. The judge can also order the abuser to leave the house, giving the victim time to go to court and file a temporary restraining order.
- Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) – If the victim fills out paperwork to explain to the judge everything that has happened and why they need a restraining order, the judge will grant a temporary restraining order. These usually last until the court hearing date.
- Permanent Restraining Order – Permanent restraining orders are not actually permanent – they can last up to five years – but they can be renewed to last longer so the victim remains protected.
- Criminal Protective Order (CPO) – Should the district attorney file criminal charges against the abuser, a case in criminal court will commence. The district attorney will often ask the court to issue a CPO order while the case is ongoing. If the defendant is found or pleads guilty, the CPO can last for up to a decade after the case concludes.
Contact Our Family Law Attorney
Domestic violence has long-lasting effects on victims and their families. If you are the victim of domestic violence, contact family law attorney Drummond T. McCunn to learn more about how filing a domestic violence restraining order can keep you safe. Contact us online or call (916) 773-6100 to schedule a consultation right away.
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