Defenses for Violating a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in CaliforniaIn California, domestic violence is described as abuse committed against someone by another person who is:

  • A current or former spouse or domestic partner
  • A current or former cohabitant
  • Someone with whom they’ve had a child
  • Someone with whom they have a current or previous dating or engagement relationship

Under the law, “abuse” is an intentional or reckless attempt to cause bodily injury or to cause someone to think they are in danger of imminent serious bodily harm.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges. You may also be the subject of a domestic violence restraining order.

What is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

Domestic violence restraining orders are typically issued by a judge in criminal cases that involve violence or in situations where there is a credible threat of violence. They are meant to prevent the restrained person from threatening, harassing, stalking, or abusing an alleged victim.

Among other things, the person subject to the restraining order will be ordered to avoid any contact with the protected person, including personal contact, phone calls, text messages, emails, social media postings, etc. In most cases, the person being restrained will be required to remain a certain distance from the person being protected. They will be forbidden to visit the protected person at home, work, school, or in public. They may also be required to move out of their home or be forbidden from seeing their children

There are four types of restraining orders in California:

  • Emergency protective order
  • Temporary restraining order
  • Permanent restraining order
  • Criminal Protective Order, or “Stay Away”

Penalties for Violating a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in California

Even if your domestic violence case has been resolved, violation of a restraining order is a separate offense.

Violating a restraining order in California is a misdemeanor crime in California. If convicted, you could be facing up to one year in county jail and/or fines of up to $1000.

A second violation or a violation that results in physical injury to the victim could result in a fine of up to $2000 and/or up to one year in county jail.

Defenses for Violating a Restraining Order in California

In order to prove you violated a domestic violence protective order, the prosecution must be able to show that the court lawfully issued a restraining order against you, you were aware of the order, and that you willfully violated the protective order. This means that possible defense strategies may include challenging the legality of the order, showing that you were genuinely unaware that a restraining order had been placed against you, or that your contact with the protected person was accidental.

Speak to an Orange County, CA Domestic Violence Attorney

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence and are the subject of a domestic violence restraining order, contact the law office of Orange County, CA domestic violence lawyer Jim Tanizaki. Jim Tanizaki is a former Orange County DA turned criminal defense attorney. He knows the tactics the prosecution will use to get their conviction; in most cases, there are defense strategies that could get the charges against you reduced, if not dropped.

Don’t wait to take action to protect your rights! Contact the law office of Jim Tanizaki through our website or call us at (714) 655-7633 to schedule a free, confidential initial consultation with an experienced Orange County, CA criminal defense attorney to discuss your case.