COVID-19 UPDATE: Virtual and Phone Consultations Available in All Cases - We Offer Payment Plans - Learn More

Avvo Rating
Expertise
OCBA
State Bar of California
Featured in huffpost Live
Super Lawyers
Best Attorney

Restraining Orders

Orange County Restraining Orders Attorney

A restraining order, sometimes also known as a protective order, is an order issued by a court to prevent a person from harassing, stalking, physically abusing, or threatening another person. Orders are specific to the facts and prohibit specific actions by the person named in the order. Under California Penal Code Section 273.6, it is a crime to violate a restraining or protective order.

Types of California Restraining Orders

There are four main types of restraining orders in California:

  • Domestic Violence Restraining Order. Protects an individual from abuse by someone that the individual has a domestic relationship with, such as a spouse, parent, child, family member, or roommate.
  • Civil Harassment Restraining Order. Protects an individual from a person who is not a family member or does not live with the individual.
  • Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order. Protects people falling under the definition of elderly or dependent adult from physical, emotional, and financial abuse. An elderly person is a person over 65 years of age; a dependent adult is one between the ages of 18 and 64 who suffers from certain disabilities.
  • Workplace Violence Restraining Orders. Order initiated by an employer to protect an employee from violence in the workplace or threats of violence in the workplace.

Levels of Protection for California Restraining orders

Each of the four restraining orders above can have one of the following three levels of protection:

  • Emergency Protective Order (EPO). An EPO is usually issued when a responding officer feels that there is imminent danger of domestic violence, child abuse, abduction or elder abuse. An EPO is valid for five business days or seven calendar days from its issuance, whichever is earlier.
  • Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). TROs are usually valid for two to three weeks. Generally, a court will hold a hearing on whether to issue a Permanent Restraining Order (PRO) before the TRO expires.
  • Permanent Restraining Order (PRO). PROs may last up to three years and may be extended if the court finds that an extension is required. A hearing must be held to issue a PRO.

Violating a California Restraining Order

Under California Penal Code Section 273.6, a prosecutor must prove the following in order to gain a conviction for violating a restraining order: (1) there was a legal protective order issued by a judge, (2) the defendant knew about the protective order, and (3) the defendant intentionally violated the order.

Penalties for violating a California Restraining Order

Violations of protective orders are usually charged as misdemeanors. Penalties for violating protective orders under Section 273.6 include up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If convicted for a second offense, the violation may be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony, which carries penalties ranging from probation and up to one year in county jail to three years in state prison and a maximum fine up to $10,000. The fines and penalties are more severe if it is the second conviction in less than one year. If a person suffered bodily injury as a result of the violation of a protective order, there is a statutory minimum of 30 days in jail.

Defenses for violating a California Restraining Order

There are several defenses that can be asserted against charges of violating a restraining order:

  • Lack of Intent. If a person is aware of a protective order, but violates it without knowing, the defendant cannot be convicted of violating a protective order.
  • Lack of Knowledge. If a defendant does not know there is a protective order in place, he or she cannot be convicted of violating it.
  • False Accusation. A protected person can lie about a defendant trying to contact them or trying to come into contact with them. A protected person can also contact a defendant and arrange a meeting that would violate the protective order in order to "set up" the defendant.

Orange County Restraining Order Defense at the Johnson Criminal Law Group

Our criminal defense attorney at the Johnson Criminal Law Group will provide you with experienced legal defense for restraining order violations. If facing possible charges it is important to get in touch with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. We can be reached by phone at (949) 622-5522 or you can send us a message online today.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Lauren Johnson was amazing. She explained everything in ways that were easily understood, & answered all of my question. She was respectful, but also open & honest. She started work on my case the first day we met & got results quickly. She demonstrated passion, concern, and showed true feeling for my situation. My expectations were greatly exceeded. I would say she has an incredible attention for detail, & has a real dedication to her work. Lauren Johnson would be my first recommendation to any of my family or friends similarly in need of legal assistance. - Heather
★★★★★
I researched a lot of attorneys and had met with two attorneys before speaking with Ms. Johnson and retaining her. I was facing serious charges that could not be on my record, due to my job and was really scared. I felt hopeless & thought my life was ruined...until I found Ms. Johnson... - A criminal defense client (drug case)
★★★★★
She is on point. She knows her field well. I have to give credit where credit is due, you deserve it Lauren Johnson... - Anonymous, Victim of Domestic Violence
★★★★★
Lauren K. Johnson was my saving grace. I naively thought you were innocent until proven guilty. However, I soon discovered that CPS and family court does not see things that way... - Mrs. G, a CPS client
★★★★★
Thank you Lauren for your help and support in a very scary, bad time in my life! You were a ray of sunshine in a very dark place. I didn't have to step foot in a court room once, Lauren was there for me... - JB A criminal client