If you have been accused of violating a criminal protective order or a domestic violence restraining order, there may be several legal consequences associated with those violation. In addition to a hearing in family court regarding contempt of court for violation of a domestic violence restraining order, you may face criminal penalties under Penal Code section 273.6 – Violating a Protective, Restraining, or Stay Away Order. An experienced restraining order attorney should be able to provide advice and counsel about how both processes may impact the outcome of your case.
If a judge finds that a restrained party violated the restraining or protective order against them, he or she could hold them in contempt and accordingly send them to jail and/or sentence them to a fine. A contempt action can be brought in family court where the domestic violence restraining order was originally filed or a criminal action can be charged by the District Attorney in criminal court for the violation of the orders. If the violation is of a domestic violence restraining order it could be charged criminally under Penal Code 273.6 while violations of other court orders could be charged under Penal Code section 166(a)(4).
Consequences of the violation not only include jail time and fines but there can also be stricter modifications of the existing orders imposed or additional restrictions tacked on such as prohibiting previously allowed peaceful contact through text, OurFamilyWizard, or another messaging app or prohibited previously allowed peaceful child exchanges.
A violation of a protective order can result from otherwise lawful conduct. For instance, if someone contacts an individual and asks how their day was, that is not usually a crime unless of course there is a court order that says they cannot do it. Moreover, if the violative conduct is both a violation of the order and a separate unlawful criminal offense, he or she can not only face contempt allegations but also additional charges for the unlawful conduct. For example, if a restrained party were to throw a brick through the car window of the protected party it could result in a contempt charge plus a vandalism charge – and even more serious charges if the party was inside the vehicle.
The burden of proof for a contempt action filed in family court or contempt charges in criminal court for violation of domestic violence protective orders is beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if a contempt of domestic violence restraining order action gets filed in family court it still has a high burden of proof just like a criminal case. It must be proved that a valid order existed, the contemnor was aware of the order, and the contemnor willfully violated the order.
The possible penalties for violating a domestic violence restraining order in family court are 5 days in custody (or 120 hours of community service) per violation plus a $1000 fine per violation and the potential penalty for a Penal Code 273.6 criminal charge for violating a domestic violence order is up to 1 year in county jail and a $1000 fine if no injury was involved, 30 days minimum up to 1 year in county jail and a fine, and if there was injury and prior convictions for violating court orders then the matter can be charged as a felony and the individual can face anywhere from 16m to 3 years in in custody.
It is clear that violating court orders can result in serious consequences including loss of freedom and hefty fines in both civil/family and criminal court. To ensure your rights are protected, you may need strong representation from someone familiar with both the civil and criminal sides of restraining orders. Call today to set up an initial consultation.
The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.
We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.
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When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.
From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.
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Case Dismissed after Completion of Drug Court
All Charges Dismissed and Property Ordered to be Returned to Client
Deferred Entry of Judgment
Case Dismissed without Trial
Motion to Vacate Granted
Restraining Order Denied and Sealed
Both Cases Dismissed Prior to Trial
No Charges Filed
No Criminal Charges Filed & Detention
No Jail Time & No Sex Offender Registration
Pled to 1 Petty Misdemeanor and Not Required to Register as Sex Offender
The Nieves Law firm was a great choice in helping me through my restraining order case, the whole team there does a great job at walking you through the steps of the legal process. Jose is a great lawyer and is good at what he does, in court he really shines and is able to debate the case very well and professionally. I would definitely pick them again if I had to!
Thank you to my attorney Grace for all your help with my case. It took awhile but the outcome has made me so happy that I am able to move forward with my life and forget the past. Everyone at this law firm from the beginning to the end have been so helpful and supportive. I highly recommend The Nieves Law Firm!
The Nieves Law Firm is absolutely amazing. The best customer services experience I have had, great communication, astonishing experience, and overall a team of professionals that dedicate themselves to ensuring the best result. I am really happy to have worked with this team. Jimarielle was very helpful and provided me the comfort and understanding in every way possible. Highly recommend.
Thank you to the whole Nieves legal team, especially to my attorney, Mari Bowie, for being so supportive, helpful, and professional to me and my family in these hard times in my life. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a law firm that actually looks at you as a human-being first and cares about your well-being. I appreciate all the support they’ve given and will go to them again if I ever need to down the road.
The Nieves Law Firm has an outstanding team of attorneys who are supportive and provide exceptional Client service. The founding attorney Jo-Anna, firmly stands on her mission and is backed by a team with expertise. You can trust you’ll be in good hands and that their team will give their absolute best to help you. If you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney look no further they are knowledgeable and honestly the best to work with!