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. 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. 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.
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 an 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 an order as a 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 California, the local police can enforce it.
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 it with the protected, you should avoid this. Doing so comes with harsh 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.
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 order. By working with an aggressive attorney, you can prevent the restraining order from ruining your life. The Law Offices of Vikas Bajaj understands the profound effect a restraining order can have on your future. We’re ready to fight for justice. Call us today and learn more about what our firm can do for you.