Domestic violence is a serious issue across the country. In San Diego, there were 13 domestic violence deaths in 2016. Many of those deaths may have been prevented with domestic violence restraining orders. In California, the laws allow an individual to get an order against their attacker.
A restraining order can be used by a domestic violence victim to keep their attacker away. But those orders aren’t always used fairly. In some cases, the defendant is wrongly accused. The consequences can significantly impact the life of the defendant. If you are innocent but were given a protective order, you should do everything in your power to fight it. A restraining order attorney in San Diego, like you’ll find at the Law Offices of Vikas Bajaj can help you.
What are Domestic Violence Restraining Orders?
A domestic violence restraining order is intended to protect victims of domestic abuse from their abusers. The person who is being protected is known as the protected person. Meanwhile, the person who is the subject of the order is known as the restrained person.
In most cases, this type of order is a civil matter and lawyers for restraining orders operate out of the civil courts. However, there are some circumstances in which the issue could be handled in a criminal court. Typically, this only occurs when the restrained individual is facing domestic violence charges. In these cases, they should retain the services of a restraining order lawyer who also handles criminal defense. In San Diego, that’s criminal defense lawyer Vikas Bajaj.
Who Can Seek an Order?
The court will only issue a domestic violence order if the situation meets certain requirements. An order can be issued against a partner or ex-partner, spouse or ex-spouse, or a relative. The situation can involve divorce, separation, or paternity.
To obtain a domestic violence restraining order, there needs to be an element of abuse. The other party must have abused or threatened to abuse the individual. Additionally, the party needs to have a close relationship with the protected. This could mean being married, dating, living together, having a child together, or being related. In-laws and step-parents can also be issued domestic restraining orders.
The abuse requirement is broad and not only limited to physical abuse. Abuse can be emotional, verbal, economic, or sexual. Therefore, it is not difficult for a person to seek a restraining order. There are some individuals who seek restraining orders through the court as a legal way of getting back at their ex.
Is a Protective Order the Same as a Restraining Order?
Some people use the terms “protective order” and “restraining order” interchangeably. However, there are some differences between the two.
Both types of orders can:
- Keep you from contacting or approaching your children or relatives
- Prevent you from going to your home, workplace, or child’s school
- Force you to move out of a shared home
- Prevent you from legally owning or possessing a firearm
But a restraining order isn’t limited to those abilities. A restraining order has the potential to force someone to adhere to child custody or visitation arrangements. It can also require the restrained to pay child support, spousal support, or certain bills. In some cases, it makes one person give up or stay away from a pet. Finally, it could take away certain property.
After a restraining order is issued, it goes into a country-wide system. The system is for law enforcement officers. Even if you move away from San Diego or elsewhere in California, the local police can enforce it. Restraining order lawyers in San Diego are aware of the immense power of these legal orders. They can construct a defense that’s not only effective against criminal allegations, but also against plaintiffs using the court as an instrument of civil harassment.
What Happens When You Violate Your Restraining Order?
If you have a restraining order against you and you violate it, you could be in for serious trouble. Although you might be tempted to take matters into your own hands and discuss your temporary restraining order with the protected, you should avoid this. Doing so comes with harsh legal penalties.
For instance, you could be arrested. A conviction would get you as much as one year in jail and fines as high as $1,000. And the consequences only get worse. If you hurt someone as you violate your restraining order, the penalty is as much as one year in jail and a fine as high as $2,000. Multiple violations result in increasingly harsh sentences. There are also mandatory minimums for frequent violators. It’s also important to note that it doesn’t matter if you have a permanent or temporary restraining order against you. While it’s in effect a temporary restraining order has the same impact as permanent restraining orders. If you’ve been issued an injunction, contact a restraining order lawyer who is familiar with the court of legal jurisdiction.
Do You Have a Restraining Order Against You?
A domestic violence restraining order can change your life. The order could keep you from your home, loved ones, or place of employment. The consequences of violating the order are even more significant.
It’s important to stand up for your rights and fight an unfair restraining order. By working with an aggressive attorney, you can prevent the restraining order from ruining your life. The San Diego Law Offices of Vikas Bajaj understands the profound effect a restraining order can have on your future. We’re ready to fight for justice under the law. Call us today and learn more about what our firm can do for you.
FAQ from a San Diego Restraining Order Lawyer
Many of San Diego attorney Vikas Bajaj’s clients have been falsely accused of crimes or of civil harassment, and are consequently the subjects of erroneous restraining orders. Here are some of the most frequently asked legal questions he receives at his law office.
Does a temporary restraining order stay on your record?
A restraining order may stay on your record for up to five years after the expiration of the order.
Is it hard to get a restraining order?
San Diego restraining order attorneys often receive requests for counter restraining orders, where the respondent wants to protect themselves by getting an order against the petitioner of the original order. Temporary restraining orders are not difficult to obtain and they last 20-25 days. Your criminal defense lawyer should be able to give your direction on how best to file one.
Can you cross the border with a restraining order?
Many residents of San Diego are concerned about whether a restraining order can cause problems with immigration. Most restraining orders are not sent to border patrol agencies. You should be able to cross even with a restraining order in effect. An injunction may appear on other background checks that could affect your immigration status, however.
How do I drop a restraining order in San Diego?
If you are the protected party of a San Diego restraining order, you can fill out the appropriate legal paperwork and file it at the San Diego County Courthouse.
How do I file a restraining order in San Diego?
You may file either a civil harassment restraining order or a domestic violence restraining order at the San Diego County Courthouse. In either case, you have to file the appropriate court forms, advising the judge of the reason that you need the order. The judge will return the order by the next business day. You will be given a copy of the order to serve the other party. If you’re in fear for your safety, you can request the police to do it if you know where the respondent is located.
How much does a restraining order cost in San Diego?
Under the law in California, a restraining order can be obtained free of charge. Your lawyer may charge you for legal services, but the San Diego court will not charge you for a restraining order.
How much is an attorney for a restraining order?
Attorney fees for a restraining order may vary in San Diego. Attorneys may also charge different fees depending on whether you are seeking a civil harassment order, a family violence order or some other type of injunction. The same goes if you are fighting against an order.
Do I need an attorney to get a restraining order?
There is no law requiring you to hire an attorney if you are seeking a restraining order. On the other hand, if you are the subject of a protective order in San Diego, hiring an attorney to help you get it dropped may be your wisest course of action.
Restraining Order Attorney San Diego
Whether they are the subject of a criminal allegation or a civil order, no individual wants to be falsely accused. Unfortunately, too many people attempt to use the California criminal and civil courts as mechanisms for vengeance. If you have been served with an injunction in San Diego County, criminal defense attorney Vikas Bajaj can help.
With over 20 years practicing California law, Mr. Bajaj is familiar with the ins and outs of both the civil and criminal court systems. He is committed to justice and stands ready to defend his clients in the San Diego court system. Call him today to schedule an initial consultation.