A domestic violence restraining order is a court order issued in a domestic violence case. This order directs an individual to refrain from contacting, harassing, threatening, or harming the victim. A Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) applies only to persons who share or have shared an intimate relationship. The person seeking a protective order must have been subjected to a credible threat of physical violence or experienced actual physical violence.
Governor Newsom first declared a state of emergency on March 4, 2020, to help the government act quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April of 2020, California issued emergency rules that extend existing domestic violence restraining orders in criminal and family law cases. Emergency protection orders were extended for up to 30 days. Temporary restraining orders and permanent domestic violence restraining orders were both extended for up to 90 days.
The exact terms and conditions of a restraining order vary from case to case. Judges in a domestic violence criminal case will impose restraining orders provided that the person seeking the restraining order proves that someone has abused or threatened to abuse them or their minor child, and the alleged abuser is an intimate partner or a first- or second-degree relative. Note that a person seeking an order does not have to show that he or she suffered actual physical harm.
California Penal Code § 273.6 PC makes it a misdemeanor offense to violate a restraining order, protective order, or stay-away order. Assuming a legal restraining order is issued, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knew of the restraining order and intentionally acted in violation of the restraining order.
A Restraining Order can direct another person to:
- Not contact or go near you, your children, your relatives, pets, or others who live with you;
- Stay away from your home, work, or the schools that your children attend;
- Move out of your house;
- Pay bills;
- Not possess a gun;
- Follow child custody and visitation orders;
- Pay child support;
- Pay spousal or partner support;
- attend a 52-week batterer intervention program; and
- Release or return certain property.
Restraining orders are often issued after a person is charged with a domestic violence offense such as domestic battery under California Penal Code § 243(e) or inflicting corporal injury on an intimate partner under California Penal Code § 273.5 PC. Thus, situations may exist when a restraining order is effective and the underlying charges of the crime that precipitated the order are dismissed. Note that the restraining order may be dismissed but it also may remain in effect. Dismissal of the charge does not automatically revoke the restraining order.
John Patrick Dolan is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, the highest achievement awarded by the State Bar of California to attorneys in the field of criminal law. The advice, guidance, and representation of experienced criminal defense counsel may be crucial to achieving the best possible result in any criminal matter. John Patrick Dolan has forty years of criminal defense experience. Contact Dolan Law Offices today at 760-775-3739 or 562-824-4007 to discuss your situation or find out more online here.