Individuals who are suffering from abuse, domestic violence, or harassment have options for legal protection, although it can be intensely difficult to overcome the isolation and powerlessness that comes with suffering from those actions. A restraining order, or protective order, can be a very useful protective tool, but managing the complex filing process and legal systems may not seem viable in your current situation.
By understanding more about California restraining orders, you can determine how they may protect you from threats, stalking, or physical abuse from a stranger or someone you live with. For many victims of these actions, it can be reassuring and beneficial to work with a family lawyer who understands the process of filing for a protective order. An attorney can help you understand your rights and protections while helping you discreetly file for protection.
Filing for a protective order can be overwhelming, and the legal requirements and deadlines can add to the stress. At the Carlos Navarrete Law Firm, we want to:
By working with an experienced attorney, you can improve the chances that your request for a temporary or permanent restraining order is approved. Our firm has more than 23 years of collective legal experience with a focus in family and criminal law. Our experience in criminal and family law makes us especially qualified to understand the legal processes of filing and advocating for your right to a protective order. We understand the requirements and potential problems of filing for a restraining order, and our firm can help you navigate the intricacies of family law.
The specific terms of a protective order depend on your unique circumstances, the terms that you request when filing for the order, and the protection that the judge grants you. Often, a restraining order will include some of the following provisions:
A protective order can have additional effects on the restrained individual’s life, including preventing them from owning firearms or being unable to see their children. If a restrained person violates the terms of the restraining order, they can face criminal charges.
A restraining order can last for varying lengths of time, depending on the level of the order. In California, there are three levels of protective order, lasting anywhere from a week to many years.
An emergency protective order (EPO) is a restraining order that can be requested by a police officer when responding to a domestic violence call or other situations where the victim needs immediate protection. EPOs cannot be requested by an individual other than a law enforcement officer. An EPO can be requested at any time of day and is immediately in effect once it is granted. The judge will only provide an EPO if they believe that one of the following is true:
An EPO is enforceable for one week, which is meant to give the victim time to file for a permanent and/or temporary restraining order. EPOs can usually provide the same protections that are available in other forms of restraining orders.
A temporary restraining order (TRO), or ex parte restraining order, can be requested when an individual files for a permanent restraining order. A TRO is meant to protect the filing party from the time they file for a permanent order until the day of the hearing. A TRO generally lasts for 20 to 25 days. The judge will only issue a TRO if they believe that the individual is in immediate and present danger before the hearing occurs.
Regardless of whether the judge issues a TRO or not, there will be a hearing scheduled to determine if a permanent restraining order will be issued. The judge will review the facts of the case to determine if a restraining order is necessary to protect the filing party from danger. If the situation is a domestic violence case, a permanent restraining order will last for 5 years. The filing party can then apply for another permanent order in the last three months of the order’s validity. If the case is a civil harassment restraining order, the order will last for 3 years.
There are four restraining order types in California, categorized based on the relationship between the restrained party and the victim as well as the type of abuse being suffered.
A domestic violence restraining order protects a victim of abuse when the abusive party is a relative or someone the victim has a close relationship with. A close relationship under state law means that parties:
These restraining orders address abuse such as:
This order exists to protect an elder or dependent adult. This means that the individual is:
If an elder or dependent adult is suffering abuse from a caretaker, they can file for this restraining order. Abuse may include:
Civil harassment restraining orders are applicable when a victim is suffering forms of abuse, stalking, or harassment from someone they don’t have a close relationship with. This may be a:
This form of restraining order can be filed by employers when an employee is under a credible threat of danger, violence, or abuse occurring at their place of work. An employee can’t file for a workplace restraining order, but they may instead be able to file for a domestic violence or civil harassment restraining order. A workplace violence restraining order exists to protect all employees in a workplace.
It isn’t required to have an attorney by your side when filing for a temporary or permanent restraining order. However, an experienced attorney can:
An attorney knows what information is required for a petition and can represent you in your hearing. Your attorney can also provide much-needed support during this stressful time.
The statute of limitations is a legal time limit for an individual to file a civil claim or criminal charges. As of 2020, the statute of limitations for filing domestic violence criminal charges is 5 years, regardless of whether the act of violence is considered a misdemeanor or a felony. This increase in limitations improves the ability of victims to come forward and press charges against their abusers. However, it’s important to know that the sooner a victim files, the better. Otherwise, important evidence may be lost. If domestic violence charges have been filed against you, it’s essential to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney.
If someone is harassing or abusing you, a restraining order enables you to give yourself legal protection. Although a restraining order doesn’t completely prevent this behavior, it does allow you to press criminal charges against a restrained individual who willingly violates the order. At the Carlos Navarrete Law Firm, we want to defend your right to a safe living environment and help you keep your family safe. Contact us today for compassionate legal support.
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