Violation of a restraining order can get you into more trouble than you may think. If you have been notified of a restraining order, it is best to acknowledge and respect the restraining order. Individuals who violate the provisions outlined in the restraining order law under Penal Code 273.6 may face fines of up to one thousand dollars and imprisonment for up to a year. Furthermore, any subsequent offense that occurs within seven years will be treated with additional fines and jail time. Violating a restraining order is an offense that can be treated with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case. You may want to speak with an attorney if you did not violate a restraining order, if you did not know of a restraining order, or if you did not violate a restraining order intentionally.
Violating a restraining order charge can be contested in a courtroom. In a courtroom, there are certain principles that can be challenged by either party to prove fault or innocence. When it comes to violating a restraining order, the court will take into account the following:
- Your knowledge of the restraining order:
- If you were not aware of the restraining order, it means you have not been properly notified of the restrictions on your freedom. In California, it is a big deal to notify the other party of any court order that limits their freedom. However, if you know of the restraining order, the party pressing the restraining order can pursue charges in a courtroom.
- False accusation:
- We all have a doppelganger (a person who looks just like us) and sometimes they may be getting us into trouble. When the restraining party “thinks he/she saw you at the mall a third time” and you know you were at work or in (x) location, then you should present your evidence in a court to avoid charges. Just ‘thinking’ you saw someone is not enough to convict someone of violation of a restraining order.
- The validity of the restraining order:
- To validate a restraining order, it must be approved by a judge. Individuals that serve a fake restraining order cannot enforce the provisions of the document without court approval. The party pressing charges would need to undergo a formal restraining order filing procedure to ensure their protective order is honored in court.
- Your actions were not intentional:
- You can prove that your actions were not intentional. For instance, if you and your buddy are grabbing a bite at the local pub and your ex-wife walks in, you may have to leave the premise, but it does not mean you were acting with intention to stalk. However, if you are stalking or following someone around and you are frequently spotted by the restraining party, you may be charged for violating your restraining order.
Violating a restraining or protective order may not seem like a serious offense, however, if you commit a violent crime or unlawful act while on a restraining order, you will face additional penalties. In California, violating Penal Code 273.6 may be punished with a misdemeanor or a felony which means you may face prison time if your charges amount to a felony. To ensure that you are not wrongly convicted, you may discuss your case with a local Long Beach Criminal Attorney. Our attorney can help guide and represent your case to ensure that your end goals are reached. To reach our offices, you may contact us at 562-308-7807. We are ready to assess your case and guide you through the necessary steps to ensure you are not wrongly accused.
What a Restraining Order Can Do For You
The California Courts explain that a restraining court order can service a variety of restraining goals to prevent physical or sexual abuse, protection from threats, harassment, or stalking. When a restraining order is filed, the filing party is known as the ‘protected person’ while the other is recognized as the ‘restrained person’. A court restraining order can come in the following forms:
- Personal Conduct Order:
- A personal conduct can include attacking another person, assault, making threatening comments, harassing, attacking, calling, messaging, mailing objects, and other acts that can be seen as disturbing the peace.
- Stay-Away Orders:
- Restrains a person from coming to a certain distance of the protected party. A restrained person may be required to stay away a certain amount of distance from the protected persons home, workplace, school, vehicle, or other places where the protected person is required to be.
- Move-Out Orders:
- Order that tells the restrained party (a roommate or housemate) to move out of the house until the court hearing. The individual has to move out immediately upon notice and may only take his or her clothing.
When you pursue a restraining order against someone, more often than not, they will not be able to contact you through any means and/or may not physically attempt to meet with you. A violation of a restraining order can result in jail/prison time depending on whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or felony, and fines that can range up to two-thousand dollars. If you wish to file a restraining order, you need to understand the restraining order that works for you. The following section will highlight the types of court-ordered restraining orders. Violation of any of the following may be reason enough to press charges.
Types of Restraining Orders
On the other hand, if you know you are being stalked online, in person, or if the other party keeps on messaging your or finding ways to contact you, then you have a reason to establish or enforce a restraining order. The California Courts provide four different types of restraining orders that serve different individuals in different circumstances. If you wish to learn more about the penalties for violating a restraining or protective order, you may read the following section (Violation of Restraining Order). However, if you wish to learn about ways to establish a restraining order than this section is for you. The following will explain the different types of protective orders.
Civil Harassment Restraining Order
Have you ever been followed around by a creepy guy or woman? Well if you notice a repetitive pattern of stalking, you may want to learn more about a civil harassment restraining order. The Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6 defines the ‘course of conduct’ as a pattern of actions over a period of time that shows the ‘continuity of purpose’. Under this definition, the course of conduct can be defined as repetitive harassing phone calls, stalking, sending messages or other correspondence through email, mail, or other forms of postal service. To establish a civil harassment restraining court order, the petitioning party will need to have experienced the following form of harassment.
Civil harassment includes:
- The threat of violence
- Assault, battery, or stalking
- The acts cause an annoyance or causing someone to fear for their well-being
If you want to take legal action against a neighbor, friend of a friend, or other non-family individuals that stalks or harasses you, you may want to file a civil restraining order. However, if you are being harassed or stalked by an ex-spouse, close family member, you may want to read the next section on ‘Domestic Violence Restraining Order”
Domestic Violence Restraining Order
Unlike the restraining order mentioned above, if you seek a restraining order against a close family member including your children, spouse, ex-spouse, domestic partner, ex-domestic partner, roommate or cohabitant, then you will be required to file a domestic violence restraining order. Domestic violence is described as causing physical harm to a close family member and it includes sexual assault, making a close family member fear for their well-being, and it is also engaging in stalking, threats, hitting someone, or simply ‘disturbing someone's peace’. If you are experiencing domestic violence, you may speak with an attorney who can help assess your case and establish a restraining order. In a courtroom, you may press additional charges for domestic violence, a restraining order is temporary and will not take care of the problem on its own.
Workplace Violence Restraining Order
If you are being harassed by an employee, you will need to work with your employer to establish a workplace violence restraining order. This type of restraining order cannot be filed by an employee, he or she must request their employer to file this type of restraining order on their behalf. When this restraining order is granted by a judge, the restrained employee cannot go near the other employee or attempt to contact the employee or his family members. A workplace violence restraining order can either be temporary or permanent. To establish a workplace restraining order, there are a number of factors that must be presented in a courtroom. If you are an employer who wants to file a workplace violence restraining order, you may want to contact an attorney to ensure that the paperwork is filed correctly the first time. In other instances, an employee may want to speak with an attorney to see other ways to protect themselves with a restraining order.
Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order
Individuals who are over the age of 65, are considered dependent adults with special protections. Dependent adults are anyone over the age of 65, a child under the age of 18, or anyone suffering from a mental or physical disability that requires them to depend on another for survival. In general, whenever a crime is directed to a dependent adult, you can expect more serious punishments than those outlined for the simple crime. An elder or dependent adult can file an elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order whenever they experience abuse from their caretaker. You are a victim of abuse if the following applies to you:
- Physical abuse: being hit, pinched, or hurt in any physical way
- Financial abuse: stealing (dipping into an elders bank account or ordering food or buying clothing using an elders credit or debit card)
- Mental abuse: when a caretaker demeans or threatens you constantly it is a form of mental abuse
- Neglect: occurs when a caretaker avoids performing essential duties such as providing a safe environment, food, water, and other basics.
If you are a dependent adult and you seek a restraining order, you may want to contact a local attorney to discuss your case. Some victims of abuse are able to claim damages and may seek a restraining order to keep the perpetrator as far away as possible.
Violation of Restraining Order
The penalties under Penal Code 273.6 will vary depending on the number of times you violated the court order in seven years, any unlawful acts, and the types of restraints that you violated. If you violated a restraining order and you have been notified by the court, you may want to speak with an attorney so that you understand the types of penalties that apply to you. Keep in mind that every case has a substantial amount of factors that can either hurt or benefit your case. Working with an attorney will ensure that your side is fairly represented.
In California, if you violate Penal Code 273.6, you may face the following penalties.
- Up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
- If the incident involved physical injury the fines can range up to $2,000 and a minimum jail sentence of thirty days and maximum one year in prison
- A felony can be charged with up to three years in jail or prison and up to ten thousand dollars in fines.
Violating a restraining order is a serious offense in the state of California. If you receive notice of a restraining order you may either choose to accept and abide by the rules, or you may contest the restraining order. If your actions are misinterpreted, you may want to speak with an attorney to help challenge the charges in court. To speak with a local attorney about the laws that guide restraining orders, you may contact the Long Beach Criminal Attorney at 562-308-7807.