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Understanding California Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

Posted on in Domestic Violence

Santa Clara County restraining order defense attorneyOften, an order of protection, or restraining order, is issued as a result of a domestic violence allegation. In California, domestic violence is defined as abuse or threats of abuse when the abuser and the abused are in an intimate relationship, or are closely related by blood or marriage. If you have been served with a restraining order, it is important that you fully understand the things that the order can and cannot do and how it will affect you.

Who Can Ask For a Restraining Order?

In California, a person can ask for a domestic violence restraining order if they and their alleged abuser are:

  • Married
  • Divorced or separated
  • Dating or used to date
  • Living together
  • Parents of a child together
  • Closely related, as in a parent, child, brother, or sister

Things a Restraining Order Can and Cannot Do

A restraining order is a legally-binding court order that can order a person to:

  • Not contact an alleged victim or their children.
  • Stay away from an alleged victim’s home, work, or children’s schools.
  • Move out of their house.
  • Follow child custody and visitation orders.
  • Pay child support.
  • Pay spousal support.
  • Pay certain bills.
  • Return certain property.
  • Complete a year-long domestic abuse intervention program.

A restraining order cannot:

  • End a marriage or domestic partnership.
  • Establish paternity of children, unless the petitioner and the respondent agree to the parentage of the child.

Effects of a Restraining Order

Restraining orders are taken very seriously in California, especially when domestic violence is involved. A restraining order can prohibit you from doing certain things, or it can force you to do certain things--it all depends on the judge and the situation. A restraining order can:

  • Limit the places you can go or the things you can do.
  • Force you to move out of your home.
  • Affect your ability to see your children or require visits with your children to be supervised.
  • Prohibit you from owning a gun. If you already own a gun, a restraining order may force you to turn in, sell, or store any firearm you may possess.
  • Affect your immigration status.

Contact a San Jose Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with domestic violence and you have a restraining order against you, it can affect your life greatly. A skilled and knowledgeable Santa Clara County criminal defense lawyer can help you mitigate the unfavorable effects of accusations of abuse and work to help you avoid criminal charges. Contact the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson to begin discussing your options. To schedule a free consultation, call 408-246-3004.


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