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Restraining orders can significantly impact your freedom, from where you can go and live, who you associate and communicate with, and, in some instances, your ability to work or access places you frequently visit. If someone has initiated a restraining order proceeding against you or authorities have charged you with violating such an order, seek the guidance of an experienced Martinez restraining order lawyer immediately. A skilled restraining order defense attorney could help you address these accusations and maintain your quality of life. En Español

Types of Restraining Orders in Martinez

Courts impose various types of restraining orders to protect individuals from the violent, harassing, or aggressive behavior of others. Each offers similar protections, but they may require varying levels of proof for a court to issue the relief.

Physical harm is not necessary to support granting a restraining order. Placing someone in fear of imminent danger by making a credible threat of violence, past acts of abuse, financial abuse, deprivation of care, a continuous course of conduct that seriously annoys, alarms, or harasses and serves no legitimate purpose, disturbing the peace, etc. are all aspects of various restraining order types that can amount to a sufficient basis for a judge to grant the request.

The various types of restraining orders are:

  • Domestic violence
  • Civil harassment
  • Workplace violence
  • Elder or dependent adult abuse

Family members, individuals in romantic relationships, ex-partners and significant others may apply for domestic violence restraining orders under California Family Code § 6218. Obtaining a domestic violence restraining order requires reasonable proof of abuse.  Abuse can be shown by any of the following:

  • Sexual assault
  • Physical assault
  • Threats of harm
  • Harassing behavior like stalking, threatening, or hitting someone, disturbing the other party’s peace or destroying or vandalizing the personal property of the other party

Individuals not related to the alleged perpetrator, such as roommates, neighbors and acquaintances, may seek orders under the California Civil Procedure Code § 527.6. Civil harassment restraining orders require clear and convincing evidence of harassment which can include physical acts, credible threats of violence, or a continuous course of conduct that seriously annoys, alarms, or harasses and serves no legitimate purpose. The burden of proof for a civil harassment restraining order is higher than it is for a domestic violence restraining order or an elder abuse or dependent adult restraining order.

California Welfare and Institutions Code § 15657.03 establishes a mechanism for the elderly, people over the age of 65, or dependent adults to seek protection from harm and abuse by filing for an elder abuse restraining order. California’s Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) was designed to protect elders and dependent adults from abuse by caretakers and others.  An elder abuse restraining order requires reasonable proof of abuse.  Abuse under this statute includes:

  • Deprivation by a caretaker of goods or services need to avoid physical harm or mental suffering
  • Physical Abuse
  • Financial Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Abduction
  • Isolation or
  • Other treatment resulting in physical harm, pain or mental suffering

Employers may file for an order on behalf of their employees as outlined in Cal. Civil Proc. Code § 527.8, to protect their employees in situations involving unlawful violence or credible threats of violence. Employees cannot ask for a workplace violence restraining order themselves – this type of relief is sought out by the employer in order to protect the individuals in their employ and the conduct must have occurred at the workplace or the indication is that any harm will be carried out at the workplace. Workplace violence restraining orders require clear and convincing evidence. The burden of proof is higher than the burden of proof for an elder abuse or dependent adult restraining order and a domestic violence restraining order.

Whether filing a restraining order against someone else or defending one that has been filed against you, speaking with a Martinez restraining order attorney could be vital to the preparation and .

How Long Do Restraining Orders Last?

The type of restraining order requested determines the maximum length of time that protection will be in place.  Civil harassment restraining orders, domestic violence restraining orders, and elder abuse restraining orders have a maximum duration of five years. Workplace violence restraining orders have a maximum duration of three years.  If there is no expiration date listed on the forms, meaning the restraining order is silent as to duration, then the expiration date is three years from it’s issuance.

Renewing a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

If a restraining order is set to expire and the individual wants to seek an extension of that restraining order they must apply for a renewal within 90 days prior to the expiration of the initial order of protection.  Failure to apply during the renewal period will require a new filing and will have a maximum length of 5 years. If the renewal request occurs during the renewal period the requesting party does not need to show new conduct or violations of the restraining order but rather has to show that they have a reasonable fear of abuse in the future. The court can then grant the renewal for 5 years or even life.

Consequences of Violating a Restraining Order

Once a court puts a restraining order in place, it has the force of law, and the person subject to its requirements must follow the rules established, such as refraining from contacting or keeping a certain distance from the protected party. If they fail to adhere to the prescribed limitations, they may face criminal charges under Cal. Penal Code § 273.6.

Although probation is an option when someone violates a restraining order, individuals convicted of violating a restraining order face maximum fines of $1,000, incarceration up to one year, or both. The court may order additional payments, not to exceed $5,000, to a woman’s battered shelter or shelter for abused adults. The judge may also direct the defendant to reimburse the alleged victim for counseling and other reasonable costs related to the defendant’s behavior.

Even if a party does not face criminal consequences for violating a restraining order they can still face quasi-criminal consequences in a contempt action.  Being held in contempt can result in 5 days in jail or 120 hours of community service per violation and a $1000 fine per violation. Violating a restraining order is taken very seriously and often pursued as a criminal action or a contempt action.

Speak with a Skilled Martinez Restraining Order Attorney Now

The court must hold a hearing before putting a permanent restraining order into effect or punishing someone for violating a restraining order. You have an opportunity to defend yourself. Do not assume you can handle such an appearance on your own. Place your case in the hands of an experienced Martinez restraining order attorney. We understand the law, are familiar with the local judicial system, and have your interests at heart. Please reach out soon, so we may help you achieve the best outcome.

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