What is a Restraining Order?
Also known as a protective order, restraining orders are court orders that mandate no contact with the individual who has implemented the order. While you might assume that these orders would be incredibly difficult to attain, they can in fact be issued even if you believe that the accusations against you are unfounded. These orders are usually used in cases involving domestic abuse, harassment, stalking, sexual assault, or other cases that might potentially cause harm for an individual.
In California, there are several degrees of restraining orders. Among those categories, there are also subcategories of restraining orders meant to be requested for specific circumstances. The general degrees are as follows: Permanent Restraining Order, Temporary Restraining Order, and Emergency Protective Orders. Furthermore, within these individuals can file for a restraining order for workplace violence, stalking and harassment, elder abuse, civil harassment, and domestic violence. Individuals must make sure they are seeking the correct restraining order for their situation otherwise the judge may deny the request.
The process of attaining a restraining order involves first handling the allegations with county criminal courts. Then the restraining order is issued by the family law court of a county’s civil court. Therefore, restraining orders must go through both the criminal and civil system
Violating a Restraining Order
If an individual intentionally ignores the court’s order to cease contact with the person seeking the restraining order, then according to California Penal Code Section 273.6 you will be convicted for violating the terms of the order. The punishment can vary based on whether or not the individual has violated the terms before and if any injury occurred due to the violation. The misdemeanor or felony penalties include serving time in a state prison, paying court fees, seeking counselling, and paying restitution for medical services required for the victim’s injuries.