Alameda Restraining Order Lawyer
A restraining order is a court order which forbids an individual from getting within a certain distance of another person or contacting them. Types of contact forbidden by restraining orders include email, text, social media, or contact through a third party. Restraining orders can also compel individuals to do certain things, such as relinquish all firearms.
If you face a potential restraining order or have been accused of a violation, do not risk handling this situation on your own. Many people believe that because restraining orders are not criminal charges, they do not need to hire an attorney. However, restraining orders can still have serious ramifications and an experienced legal advocate can still be extremely helpful. Call an accomplished Alameda restraining order lawyer today to begin building your defense.
Difference Between Restraining and Protective Orders
Restraining orders are different from other civil protection orders in that restraining orders can sometimes last longer than criminal protective orders and can be renewed more easily. They go into the law enforcement telecommunications system and can affect employment, banking, and sometimes housing. A misdemeanor criminal protective order tends to last for three years, whereas the maximum time on a restraining order is five years.
Who Can File a Restraining Order?
Anyone can file a restraining order, but to get one granted, a person must allege harassment or abuse. They must show that they have been subjected to one or more of the following:
- Physical harm
- A credible threat of violence
- Reasonable apprehension that abuse will occur
- An ongoing course of conduct that seriously annoys, harasses, or alarms and serves no legitimate purpose
The burden varies depending on the type of restraining order that has been filed (Elder Abuse Restraining order, Domestic Violence Restraining order, Civil Harassment Restraining Order, or Workplace Violence Restraining order).
Requirements Under Restraining Orders
A restraining order might require a person to keep a certain distance from another person, their place of employment, their home, and their motor vehicle. They may not contact the other person in any way. It can also require the relinquishment of firearms and name additional protected parties so that other household members like children are protected. Domestic violence restraining orders can subject the restrained party to custody orders, debt payments, and even determinations of who gets control of pets or cell phones.
Consequences for Violating Restraining Orders
A person who is accused of violating restraining orders can be held in contempt in civil court, which can subject them to five days of jail time plus a $1000 fine per violation. They could also face criminal misdemeanor penalties for violating a CLETS order, which is punishable by a year in county jail plus a fine.
Vacating, Changing, or Extending an Order
A restraining order is vacated, changed, or extended based on information presented during a hearing. These hearings take place in front of a judge, and both parties get to state their case. Based on the evidence, the judge decides whether or not the restraining order is justified on a longer-term basis.
Prior to the expiration of a restraining order, the protected party can apply for an extension of the orders. The restrained party will be entitled to a hearing on whether a renewal/extension should take place. The process is very similar to the initial request for orders except there is no requirement that new conduct has occurred. Instead, someone must show that the protected party has a reasonable apprehension that they are still in need of protection from the restrained party.
Importance of an Attorney in Restraining Order Hearings
A person charged with a domestic violence-related offense would want an Alameda restraining order lawyer because these are legal matters that should not be taken lightly. The outcome of a restraining order case can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s:
- Second amendment rights
- Freedom of movement
- Ability to find employment in certain sectors
- Day to day life
An attorney will be familiar with the legal standards associated with each case and able to hold the other party accountable for meeting their burden of proof and making a sufficient showing. Upon showing that the required proof does not exist, the attorney could effectively argue that a restraining order should not be granted.
Let an Alameda Restraining Order Attorney Advocate for You
If you have an upcoming hearing regarding a restraining order, or you have been charged with violating a restraining order, a capable defense attorney could help. An Alameda restraining order lawyer could analyze the facts of your situation in order to argue on your behalf or defend you from any charges. Get in touch with a lawyer today to discuss your case.