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Know and Protect Your Rights in a Criminal Defense Matter



Download Our Free Guide

Know and Protect Your Rights in a Criminal Defense Matter





Oakland Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

If a domestic violence restraining order is imposed against you, the impact on your life can be substantial. You may lose your ability to live in your home and have any contact with your family. Violation of Oakland domestic violence restraining orders also is a crime for which you could face jail time, fines, and more.

A domestic violence restraining order may also affect some of your civil rights, such as the right to possess firearms and your right to be in certain locations you would otherwise be permitted to frequent. A finding of domestic violence can also have a negative impact on cases involving child custody disputes – triggering a presumption that the party committing the abuse should not have primary custody of a child.  An experienced criminal attorney could assess your situation and determine the defense strategy that is best for you.

Defining Domestic Violence

State law sets forth specific definitions of the behaviors that can constitute domestic violence. Under California Family Code § 6203, abuse refers to any of the following:

  • Purposely or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury
  • Sexual assault
  • Creating a reasonable fear in others of imminent serious bodily injury
  • Engaging in any behaviors that a protective order prohibits, including stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, or destroying person property

Abuse can occur even if the alleged victims suffer no physical injuries or assault. However, abuse does not qualify as domestic violence in Oakland unless it occurs between people in specific relationships. Under Cal. Fam. Code § 6211, these relationships include current or former spouses, current or former cohabitants (not roommates), people who currently or formerly were in a dating relationship or engaged, individuals who share children, and persons who are related by blood or marriage within the second degree.

Purpose of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

Domestic violence restraining orders can protect people from the many forms of abuse that qualify as domestic violence based on the relationship between the parties. Cal. Fam. Code § 6320 provides for the issuance of ex parte orders to prevent people from committing acts of domestic violence against the protected persons, as well as named family and household members of the protected persons. Among the provisions that Oakland restraining orders for domestic violence may include are those that:

  • Prohibit individuals from committing specified acts of abuse
  • Require persons to stay away from the protected persons altogether
  • Disallow any contact between the parties, whether direct or indirect
  • Grant possession of an animal belonging to either party or a child

The court can also include a provision in domestic violence restraining orders that excludes one party from a shared or separate home of the protected person. Other provisions in these orders may address temporary custody or visitation arrangements for children and temporary use and control of real estate or items of personal property. If necessary, a judge may also order that one or both parties refrain from disposing of, transferring, canceling, or changing insurance policies that currently are in place for another or their children.

Types of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

In severe situations, judges can issue emergency protective orders and are available to do so 24 hours per day. These orders are immediately effective and last up to seven days. For coverage beyond those seven days, individuals must request temporary restraining orders, which typically remain in effect until a hearing is held.

Once a court hearing is held on the temporary order, a judge can issue a “permanent” domestic violence restraining order. These orders can last for up to five years and are renewable prior to the expiration of that period if necessary.

Get Advice about Restraining Orders for Domestic Violence in Oakland

The implementation of Oakland domestic violence restraining orders against you could adversely affect your life, both professionally and personally. With skilled legal counsel on your side, you may be able to seek alternatives and minimize the outcome of this challenging situation. Various defenses to the issuance of these restraining orders are possible, but you are likely to require an experienced attorney to utilize them effectively.

By getting much-needed advice, you are more likely to fully understand the potential consequences of your situation and your options for handling it. Call now.

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