Emergency Protective Order

Cases of domestic abuse frequently result in the issuance of emergency protective orders (EPOs). These orders are specifically drafted to safeguard the victim by prohibiting the alleged perpetrator, as stated in the restraining order, from approaching the victim or specific locations. Violating an EPO can result in significant criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment. Furthermore, there may be additional consequences, such as difficulties in securing employment.

If you are accused of violating an emergency protective order, we at the Long Beach Criminal Attorney can help with your case. Our attorneys offer reliable legal services to individuals seeking assistance in obtaining or defending against an emergency protective order or any other legal services related to domestic violence.

An Overview of California Emergency Protective Orders

In cases of domestic abuse, an individual who is believed to be in imminent danger can be granted an emergency protective order (EPO). The court may issue the order at any time upon request from a law enforcement officer.

Once the judge issues the order, it becomes effective and remains valid for either five working days or seven calendar days, depending on which comes first. The restraining order will protect the requester until they file a formal application for a domestic protective order with the court.

The provisions of California Family Code 6250 and 6253 respectively address emergency protective orders. To demonstrate that they were at immediate risk of domestic abuse, the requester or applicant must fulfill specific requirements outlined in this Act.

If the following conditions apply, an individual can consider obtaining an EPO:

  • Based on previous allegations of domestic violence, recent instances of abuse, and threats, the individual is currently or immediately at risk of experiencing domestic violence
  • The individual who is requesting the order is a minor who is in immediate or ongoing danger of being abused by a family member or someone living in the same home
  • The individual is at a clear and present risk of being kidnapped by a parent or another family member
  • According to WIC 15610. 07, the person who requests the restraining order is an elderly or dependent adult who is in immediate danger of abuse.

The purpose of the emergency protection order is to prevent child abduction, domestic violence, child abuse, and mistreatment of a dependent adult. It is available to various individuals who may apply for it. A person is protected from abuse under FC 6203 through the use of a restraining order.

This statute defines abuse as:

  • Intentionally attempting to physically harm someone or acting carelessly towards them
  • Sexual assault
  • Causing someone to legitimately fear for their safety or to suffer severe injury potentially
  • Acting in ways that disrupt another person's peace includes behaviors such as striking, threatening, stalking, or harassing them

Note that physical abuse encompasses more than just hitting. It can also include actions such as pulling a partner's hair, pushing, throwing objects, instilling fear, and preventing them from leaving. It's important to recognize that family pets may also endure physical harm as a result. Domestic violence does not always involve physical assault. It can also include psychological, emotional, or verbal harassment.

Implementation of an Emergency Protective Order

When victims fear for the safety of themselves or their children, emergency protection orders can provide valuable assistance. These legal orders give victims the authority to keep known or potential abusers away from them or a shared residence. Additionally, the following actions can be taken with such orders:

  • It prevents the perpetrator or abuser from attempting to contact you in any way unless specific forms of communication have been authorized in advance
  • It prevents the abuser from attempting to harm the recipient of the EPO again or from doing so
  • The perpetrator is required to maintain a specific distance from the victim's home, place of employment, or, if the victim is a minor, their school
  • Prevents the perpetrator from getting in touch with the children of the accused victim, regardless of whether or not they've experienced abuse
  • If the offender is living with the victim, make them move to a different address officially
  • For the duration of the violence, assume care of the children involved

Depending on the circumstances, certain requirements or provisions of an emergency protection order may not be included. The judge typically takes into consideration the scope or situation surrounding the law enforcement officer's information when determining the terms of the protection order.

Individuals Covered By An Emergency Protective Order

To determine if you are an ideal candidate for requesting an Emergency Protective Order (EPO), you should consider researching your eligibility. While the scope of eligibility is broader than one might think, the consensus is that EPOs are appropriate for children and spouses who are victims of domestic abuse. Those who qualify for an EPO under FC 6211 must have a familial relationship with the alleged abuser.

The individuals who can request an order against a purported abuser are as follows:

  • A spouse, whether they are alive or deceased
  • A cohabitant whether they are in a romantic relationship or not
  • A person with whom the respondent would have been romantically involved or dated.
  • The respondent was in a relationship with someone
  • A young member who is actively involved in the action
  • Any individual who shares a second-degree affinity with the offender

Establishing an Emergency Protective Order Under California FC 6252

FC 6252 provides specifics on the judge's orders. Different guidelines may apply to an emergency protective order, as outlined below:

  • A protective order under FC 6218
  • An order that gives a child, someone in danger, or the individual being restrained temporary care and supervision
  • An order authorized by the WIC, which includes granting temporary custody or supervision of a minor or child in danger. This order is requested when the family, home, parents, or guardian of the child need assistance
  • An order determining temporary care of an underage person or minor who is in danger of being abducted

Things Included Under The Emergency Protective Order

To ensure its effectiveness and compliance, a judge should include certain aspects in an emergency protection order. The following elements should be included in the order:

  • A declaration should emphasize the key points that the order needs to make clear
  • The duration of the order's date and time
  • The location of the Superior Court for the district or county where the kidnapping victim or threatened individual resides
  • A declaration that includes both Spanish and English printing

The statement of the order should convey the following information:

To the Individual Seeking Protection

The order is only valid until the date and time mentioned above. If you wish to maintain the protection, you must apply for a protective order from the court at the address provided. For any clarification regarding the application, you should consider consulting an attorney. To ensure a prompt response to the application, you should consider contacting an attorney without delay.

To the Restrained Individual

The order is only valid until the specified date and time. The court has the authority to grant the protected individual a permanent restraining order. If needed, you should seek assistance from an attorney in responding to the case.

Emergency Protective Order Restrictions

While an emergency protection order (EPO) is crucial for victims of domestic abuse, it may not fully address your objectives. In such circumstances, the EPO is not permitted to:

  • Put an end to a domestic partnership or assist with your divorce
  • To ensure the minor's well-being, you should consent to their descent and allow the court to handle the matter. Additionally, it is important to establish the child's parentage with the individual against whom you are requesting a protective order

Violating the Terms of an Emergency Protective Order

California statutes establish harsh penalties for violating an emergency protection order, which can result in both criminal and civil repercussions depending on the specifics of the case.

The prosecution needs to establish several requirements to convict you of breaking an emergency protective order. These factors are as follows:

  • A legal emergency protective order was issued
  • The defendant was aware of the existence and terms of the protection order
  • The defendant willfully broke the terms specified in the order

The following are the consequences for violating the restraining order:

  • Citations for court contempt
  • Loss of certain rights, such as the ability to visit a child
  • PC 273. 6 criminal charges carry a maximum penalty of one year of imprisonment in county jail, a maximum fine of $1, 000, or both. This applies if you are found guilty of a misdemeanor. However, you could face a wobbler charge if you were involved in a violent incident or have a second conviction. In such cases, the maximum sentence for a felony is three years in prison, along with a potential fine of $1,000

Challenging an Emergency Protective Order

You have the option to file a petition with the court to request the removal of the emergency protection order or a modification of its provisions. If you wish to change the terms of the EPO, such as contact, communication, or the specific distance from the protected person, you can do so by altering the circumstances and making your request.

If you wish to modify or end the order before the specified deadline set by the EPO, you must submit a request to the court. As the person the order protects or restrains, you can take action in this manner.

There may be a filing fee associated with the motion that you will need to pay. To determine the exact amount, you can promptly check with the court. Additionally, you must inform the presiding judge of your desire to be heard, and the court clerk will schedule a hearing date as soon as possible.

To ensure the best possible outcome, you can file a petition before the expiration date of the order, which is either five working days or seven calendar days. Depending on the specific circumstances, you may also want to gather the necessary evidence to assist the court in determining whether to lift or modify the emergency protection order.

The court may consider the following types of evidence:

  • Proof of completion of a program for rehabilitation and pay stubs, if the protective order was placed because of problems with anger control
  • Statements made by others, including written affidavits and personal testimony from those who feel the order was issued incorrectly
  • Evidence about child custody or visitation, if that helps your case
  • If the defendant's criminal history is in question, it’s important to obtain any documents from a parole or probation officer

The party covered by the restraining order is required to provide proof of good behavior to strengthen their arguments in court. This proof can include evidence of compliance with the current provisions of the order or evidence showing that the order is no longer necessary.

If the judge decides to revoke the order, you will need to complete items 1 and 2 on Form DV-400, make three copies, and return them to the court clerk. Also, if the clerk fills out the form on your behalf, ensure that it accurately reflects the judge's orders by carefully reviewing it. The clerk will retain the original copy of the new order and provide you with return copies bearing a filing stamp once the judge signs it.

Contact a Domestic Violence Lawyer Near Me

When you are the target of an unjust restraining order, you could face significant emotional difficulties. In such a scenario, your best course of action for attempting to get the emergency protective order revoked would be to seek the assistance of a domestic violence attorney. They can provide you with the necessary guidance and legal support to navigate through the process successfully.

At Long Beach Criminal Attorney, we have a proven track record of successfully and passionately defending clients against restraining orders and domestic abuse in court. Our team is dedicated to putting in endless effort to develop the strongest defense tactics tailored to your specific situation. For more information, call us now at 562-308-7807 to schedule a consultation.