Domestic Violence Restraining Orders In California
In this article, you will learn…
- What a domestic violence restraining order is,
- The benefits of hiring an attorney with experience in representing the victim or the alleged perpetrator, and
- What the two kinds of restraining orders are and how to obtain them.
What Is A Domestic Violence Restraining Order As It Relates To Family Law Under California Law?
Under California law, a domestic violence restraining order as it relates to family law is different from a regular restraining order you might have against a neighbor or a stranger. You must have had a certain relationship with the other person, which might be that you…
- Are married,
- Are divorced,
- Share a child,
- Are Dating or
- Dated in the past
Having one of these relationships with the other party is what brings the restraining order into the family law context.
A domestic violence restraining order is what we call ‘quasi criminal’ in the legal context, which means that it’s not really criminal but also not entirely only civil either. Even if somebody was arrested and the police issued a criminal protective order, those are quite temporary and the police themselves often explain that they need to see about getting a restraining order. So the DV restraining order is still not really in the criminal context because of your relationship to the party and the nature of the abuse or harassment. The relationship to the party is what puts the matter into a family law context.
Even if the person was arrested and the activity was assumed to be criminal, the offense will typically be considered a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors aren’t aggressively prosecuted by the criminal authorities, if at all. An especially serious injury or where minor children are involved could make the domestic violence a felony, in which case it is indeed criminal, but the victim can also obtain a DV restraining order.
Who Does Your Firm Represent When It Comes To Dealing With These Domestic Violence Restraining Orders In California?
Our firm represents either party when it comes to dealing with domestic violence restraining orders in California. Some benefits to having an attorney who represents either the victim or the alleged perpetrator, depending on the case, is that working on either side gives us the ability to:
- See the entire picture,
- Successfully get a temporary restraining order,
- Defend against a restraining order,
- Identify when a restraining order is just a disguise for some other kind of power struggle, and
- Defend against a restraining order that is being used to get an advantage in a custody situation.
As terrible as it may be, there are many times when a party will use a restraining order to get an advantage in a custody battle. Some even use a restraining order as a means of trying to take the other person out of the picture or get them to move out of a shared residence.
Working all sides of a case is advantageous to our clients because there is no angle we have not seen. Our experience allows us to know how to approach each case in the best way possible.
If Someone Has Been Served With A Restraining Order In A Domestic Violence Family Law Case, Is it Permanent
It’s important to understand that there are two types of restraining orders:
- Temporary, and
A temporary restraining order is obtained by one person filing an application where they only have to state enough facts to give the judge reviewing it a cause to believe that their safety is compromised. If the judge believes you are in imminent danger, they will issue a temporary restraining order until there can be a hearing. These are typically in place for 20 to 25 days until a hearing.
A permanent restraining order is only permanent in the language of the court. In reality, permanent restraining orders can be for six months or three years or five years, or actually forever. The duration would depend on the factors of the case and is issued after a notice and a hearing where the alleged perpetrator is heard.
A permanent restraining order can feel overwhelming if you’re on the receiving end of it. The courts in California will set a hearing about three weeks out after the application, sometimes sooner, because the other person is entitled to a hearing prior to the restraining order being made “permanent.”
The hearing for a permanent restraining order is basically a trial where the person with the application will have to make a case for why the temporary restraining order should be made permanent and what the duration of that order will be.
If Someone Has Been Served A Restraining Order In A Domestic Violence Family Law Case, What Sort Of Interactions Are They Allowed To Have With Their Children?
A restraining order in a domestic violence family law case often begins in one of two ways:
- An arrest, or
- An incident.
When children are involved, the restraining order has to have some kind of mention in regard to those children. There will be clear guidance on what will be permitted. If an incident occurred in front of children or involved the children, it is likely that the children will be covered by the temporary restraining order and that the parent who the restraining order is against may only be able to have supervised or telephone visitation with the children, or possibly even NO visitation with the children until orders are made at the initial hearing. This can feel very overwhelming to the parent with the temporary restraining order against them, but it is vital that they respect and follow the restraining order.
If the children were not asked to be covered by the restraining order or the temporary order is not made to cover them, the parent with the restraining order will still need to take certain precautions to exercise their usual visitation without violating the temporary restraining order. This will be spelled out in the temporary order, but the person will need to be sure that they understand the temporary orders and that they follow them.
For more information on Domestic Violence Law In California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (858) 225-4840 today.
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