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About Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

Were you recently arrested for domestic violence in Orange County? If so, the person who is accusing you of abusing them can ask the court for a domestic violence restraining order against you. If such a person is your spouse, or the mother or father of your child (but you are not married), you must know that restraining orders are very serious legal tools that can affect many aspects of your life.

Before we take a look at the effects of a domestic violence restraining order, let’s define “domestic violence” under California law. Of course, domestic violence includes spousal abuse and child abuse, but it also includes trying to hurt someone, seriously threatening to harm someone, or promising to harm someone.

In other words, if you threaten to hurt someone, for example, if you said to your wife, “I’m going to kill you” then that would count under the state’s definition of domestic violence, even if you didn’t actually mean it. Stalking, harassing, sexual assault, threatening, destroying someone’s personal property, and disturbing the peace are all considered domestic violence as well.

What sets domestic violence apart from other assault crimes is the fact that it occurs between family members, people who are in a romantic relationship, and between people who have a child together.

Domestic violence occurs between the following individuals:

  • Spouses
  • Siblings
  • Foster parents and foster children
  • Parents and children
  • Stepparents and children
  • People in a dating relationship
  • People who used to date
  • People who used to live together (more than roommates)
  • People who are otherwise related by blood or marriage

In California, if someone is a victim of domestic violence at the hands of a spouse, current or former partner, or other family member, they can ask the court for a domestic violence restraining order.

In order for someone to ask the court for a restraining order against an abuser, the person must be a victim of abuse, or the other person must have threatened abuse, and they must be in a close relationship with the abuser.

What can a domestic violence restraining order do?

If someone gets a restraining order against you, the last thing you want to do is ignore it. Here are some examples of what a restraining order can do:

  • Order you not to contact or go near the protected person in the restraining order, including your children and other family members,
  • Order you to stay away from your own home,
  • Order you to stay away from your children’s schools,
  • Order you to move OUT of your own home,
  • Order you to turn in, store, or sell your firearms,
  • Order you to pay child and/or spousal support,
  • Order you to stay away from your pets,
  • Order you to pay certain bills (e.g. auto loans, mortgage, and utilities),
  • Order you to not make any changes to your insurance policies,
  • Tell you not to make any big or out of the ordinary purchases, and
  • Require you to complete a 52-week batterer intervention program.

Once a judge agrees to issue a restraining order, the order is entered into CLETS, which is a statewide computer system used by law enforcement officers. Also, your restraining order would be valid in all states, not just California. So, if you move to another state, the local police in your new city or town would know about the restraining order against you.

Note: if a restraining order is issued against you and you violate the restraining order, you could be forced to pay a fine, or go to jail, or you may have to do both.

Often, when there has been a domestic violence call, the district attorney will file criminal charges against the alleged abuser. In these cases, the court will usually issue a criminal protective order against the person (defendant), and this is valid while the case is pending in the court.

If the defendant is found guilty or if they plead guilty to domestic violence, the criminal protective order is good for 3 years after the case concluded in court.

If someone has obtained a restraining order against you in Orange County, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to discuss your legal options for free!