Domestic violence victims can request a temporary or permanent restraining order to safeguard themselves from domestic abuse, stalking, assault, and other unwanted attention. Before a court decides on the victim's domestic abuse complaint, a temporary order shields them from harm by the restrained person for at least 21 days. The duration of a permanent restraining order is five years. The subject of a restraining order is subject to stringent requirements.

It is beneficial to enlist the aid and support of an experienced criminal attorney in Anaheim if someone has obtained a permanent restraining order against you. The order will restrict your ability to live, work, and interact with people. Your attorney will aid you in comprehending the specifics and requirements of your order and challenging it in court. Your lawyer can mount a convincing defense to obtain a favorable result in your case if you break any order requirements. The California Criminal Lawyer Group handles various restraining order matters. As a result, we could assist you in resolving your issue favorably.

What Are Permanent Restraining Orders?

A restraining order is a legal measure designed to shield a victim of domestic violence from the abuser's continued misconduct. Judges in criminal courts issue these directives in response to a victim's request. A judge can impose an order of protection to stop further communication between you and the alleged victim if they or a member of their family accuses you of domestic violence or abuse. The judge will issue a temporary restraining order to prevent further communication and contact between you and the victim. Until the outcome of the underlying domestic abuse case is known, the order is still in effect.

A permanent restraining order will be issued if the judge determines from the facts of the case that you pose a threat to the claimed victim and/or other members of your family. The judge's timeframe, up to five years, will govern how long the order is in force. You are not allowed to approach the individuals covered by the order during that period or stalk them. Follow the order's requirements in full to avoid violating them. You can face criminal charges for violating a court order and a jail sentence.

A permanent restraining order will impact many areas of your life. You cannot communicate with or care for your loved ones anymore. You could leave your town or house and move to another location. You must hunt for a new job if you work with the claimed victim. You can no longer go to the places you like, spend time with people you love, or even see your relatives. The way you can communicate with the individuals in your life is strictly regulated by the order.

The judge can recommend supervised visitations in specific circumstances so that you can meet and engage with your young ones. You will spend more money since you must pay the person overseeing your visits. The court will forbid you from contacting the children if you fail to pay for supervision. Because of this, you require legal assistance to challenge a permanent restraining order. Your lawyer will have enough time to gather information and prepare testimony if you hire them as soon as you receive the order notice. That could persuade the judge to lift the order.

A permanent restraining order can be in effect for up to five years. The duration of your order will primarily depend on the specifics of your case. The judge can lift the order after a few weeks or months. In some situations, the judge will issue a second permanent restraining order following the termination of the first one. You can ask the court to lift the order if you and the protected person resolve your differences and you no longer pose a threat to them or their family member. To decide the case, the court will schedule a hearing.

However, the judge must verify that the person seeking a restraining order is in danger and needs protection against you. If the applicant has been the target of persistent physical abuse, threats, or harassment, the judge can grant a permanent restraining order. You will break the law if you contact the applicant in any manner after the judge issues the order of protection, including through text messages or social media. A move-away, stay-away, or injunction against personal conduct are all examples of permanent restraining orders. If you receive an order on personal conduct, you will not be allowed to act a certain way during the order's duration. For example, making contact with the person under protection, stalking them, or harming them.

Circumstances Under Which Judges Issue Permanent Restraining Orders

Legal issues with domestic violence are pretty severe. It happens when someone in an intimate relationship with another person abuses or threatens to abuse them. Domestic violence victims could include spouses, intimate partners, people the abuser has a child with, parents, children, or people they share a house with. Domestic violence incidents are frequent. Unfortunately, most of these incidents go undetected. Some victims go years without speaking up. Victims are permitted by law to request a court order of protection to defend themselves from their abusers, temporarily or permanently.

Remember that a permanent order will be issued after a temporary restraining order expires. Victims of domestic violence can obtain a temporary restraining order if they call the police and a prosecutor files their case in court. For the duration of the lawsuit, the injunction will protect them from their abuser. The judge can issue a permanent restraining order once they decide the victim is in danger. The judge will impose a permanent protective order if there is proof that the abuser still threatens the alleged victim. That will ensure the victim's safety for a lot longer.

The judge takes several factors into account before imposing a permanent restraining order. For example, the judge must consider proof that the abuser subjected the victim to stalking, physical abuse, or harassment. There must be proof that the abuser and victim have a close relationship. For the judge to grant a PRO, the putative victim must demonstrate the following:

  • Evidence showing the abuser physically or verbally abused them or another member of the victim's family or threatened them with abuse.
  • Proof that the victim and the alleged abuser are related. For example, if they are married couples, in a sexual relationship, have a child together, were once cohabitants, domestic partners, or are going through a divorce. A victim of domestic abuse can also be the perpetrator's child, stepchild, sibling, or parent.

A victim of domestic abuse can ask the court for a PRO if these requirements are satisfied. However, if any of these requirements are unmet and the victim worries for their safety, they could obtain a different protective order from the court.

The Process of Obtaining a Permanent Protective Order

To obtain a restraining order, a victim of domestic violence must appear in court. They must complete the necessary paperwork, giving the judge the details and proof they need to grant a protective order. The judge will notify the applicant when their case will start once they have received the provided paperwork. The applicant must show up to the hearing with their legal counsel. They could offer more proof of the abuse and other justifications. The judge can dismiss an applicant's case if they do not attend court on the scheduled date.

Once the victim files for a restraining order in court, the abuser will also receive notice of it. They must show up for the hearing, according to the notice. Their defense lawyer can also accompany them. The person seeking a protective order must give the accused abuser notice that they must appear in court on a specific date and time. The judge can proceed with the hearing and decide the matter even if the abuser is absent. The victim will likely receive the judge's favor in such a case.

It can be simple for a domestic violence victim to persuade the judge to impose a permanent protective order when the alleged abuser is absent. However, if both parties are present, they can each provide arguments and evidence. The judge considers the arguments and evidence when deciding whether to grant a permanent order or lift a temporary order.

If you receive a notice of a protection order, having the correct information and direction is best. A knowledgeable attorney will advise you to pursue your claim and defend yourself to avoid obtaining a permanent protective order. If you fail to attend the court hearing, you could lose the opportunity to provide evidence to support your case and assert your legal rights.

How a Permanent Restraining Order Can Affect Your Life

The subject of a permanent restraining order is most impacted by it. Protective orders do not just bar physical contact between the victim and the alleged abuser. They come with requirements that the abuser must follow when the order is in effect. If someone obtained a permanent protective order against you, the following restrictions could apply to you:

  • You must comply with any spousal support or child support orders issued by the judge.
  • You must give specific assets to the protected party.
  • If you cohabitate with the alleged victim or co-worked with them, you must find another place to live or a job.
  • You must refrain from making any financial decisions that could negatively impact the victim's financial status.
  • You must refrain from altering your insurance coverage in any way that would affect the victim.
  • You must transfer to the victim the specific properties or cell phone plans they require.
  • You must not reside, work, or come close to the victim's home, place of employment, or your children’s school.

A domestic violence charge will also affect your ability to bear arms. You could have to turn over any firearms to the police or a licensed dealer after the judge issues an order of protection against you. Although most individuals in California are allowed to own and use weapons, there are some instances in which you forfeit those privileges. If you are deemed a threat to the public, like in this situation, you will lose your ability to bear arms.

Violating a PRO

If you violate one or more of the terms outlined by the court in a protective order, it is considered a violation of a permanent restraining order. But the judge must first ensure you know the restraining order's status.

A restraining order is issued by a judge, who gives it to the claimed victim, who is then compelled to serve the abuser. The victim can employ third parties to ensure their abuser receives the order of protection since the two parties cannot interact. The abuser can consult a lawyer, a police officer, or an adult relative to serve the abuser on their behalf. The restrained person will receive a permanent protective order, which will, after that, go into effect.

The judge will determine if you received the order first if you are accused of violating the terms of a permanent protective order. You are not guilty if the claimed offense occurred before you received the order. However, if you were aware of the order's terms and broke them, you would be held responsible and could face criminal charges.

If you disobey the terms of a court order, it is a severe offense. Based on the facts of the case and your criminal background, the judge will impose a sentence. If it is your first infraction, the judge can be forgiving and just set a court fine. However, if the situation is more severe and you have a criminal record, the prosecutor can charge you with a misdemeanor or felony. You could go to jail and pay a considerable fine if the judge deems you guilty.

Probation can also follow a PRO violation. If you are on probation, you will fulfill your sentence without being locked up. You will be under the court's supervision while on probation if the judge grants you misdemeanor probation. You must submit recurring reports to show the judge how well you do while on probation. You must abide by the probationary restrictions that come with your sentence. These conditions include, for example:

  • Making compensation to the victim to cover their costs for treatment and counseling.
  • Payment to a refuge for battered women.
  • Receiving required counseling.
  • Paying the victim back for the losses they suffered as a result of the violation.
  • Doing community service.
  • Delivering recurrent reports to the judge.

Defending Yourself Against PRO Violation Charges

You will go through a trial to establish the facts of your PRO violation before the judge gives the final ruling. In this trial, you are allowed to be represented by counsel. Your attorney can offer proof and arguments to defend your activities and prevent more severe repercussions. They can also employ a few legal defense techniques on your behalf to refute the allegations against you and win a just outcome in your case. Listed below are a few of these tactics:

Your Actions Were Not Willful

If you purposefully violated one or more of the terms of a PRO, you are guilty of violating a court order. For example, suppose the order said not to approach the victim, yet you tried to contact them. If that did not happen and you just happened to cross paths with them, then your actions are not purposeful. You must persuade the judge, with the help of your attorney, that you did not intentionally violate the order, even though you did. It could have happened by coincidence or accident. If the judge is persuaded, they will drop your charges.

The Order Was Not Valid

Only when you disregard a court-issued restraining order will you face charges. Your charges will not hold if the order is illegal. That could be the case for several reasons. For example, if the alleged victim neglected to serve you with the order in the first place or failed to serve it using the correct method. They could have left the order at your door or in your mailbox. That does not mean you received it, for sure.

Acceptable methods of serving court orders include using lawyers, the police, or third-party adults. The order will only be legitimate if you receive it or if it is delivered correctly. As a result, you cannot be held accountable for breaking an invalid order.

The Order Was Illegal

You can only face criminal charges if you disobey a court-issued protective order. You can use that as a defense to cause the court to throw out your charges if you think the order was unlawful.

The issuance of a permanent restraining order must have a legal basis. The law supports protective orders in domestic violence cases. Applicants must demonstrate that the party they seek the order against is harassing, abusing, or stalking them. The protection order will be void if such grounds do not exist. For example, if the purported victim provided false or misleading evidence.

An order of protection is null and void if the court issuing it lacks subject matter authority. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer will know how to present this case to persuade the judge to drop your charges and lift the order entirely.

You Could Not Obey Some Terms of the Order

According to the law, courts must carefully and realistically set the terms of protective orders. However, judges can impose rules and regulations that are difficult or impossible for the person under restraint to follow. You will not violate a PRO if you demonstrate that you cannot comply with a specific order condition.

For example, if your business is your sole source of income and:

  • You have a stay-away order because it is close to the victim's home, or
  • You are instructed to refrain from using a specific street even though it is the only route to your house or employment.

 The order's demand that you avoid important locations like your job or home must be more rational and fair. If your attorney successfully persuades the judge that some of the order terms were impractical for you to follow, the judge will revisit your charges.

False Accusations

False claims in domestic violence cases are not infrequent. The parties involved are typically enraged with one another and can attempt to exact revenge by making untrue accusations against one another.

For example, the other party can accuse you of breaking a protective order to land you in more legal trouble. They could even make up fake data to back up their claims.

These types of situations must be familiar to a skilled criminal defense lawyer. They will know what to look for in an investigation and what kind of proof to present to the judge to have your charges dropped. For example, if the other party claims that you contacted them, your lawyer can refute those claims by proving that the victim contacted you first and that you cut off communication as soon as you realized they had reached you.

Find an Experienced Anaheim Criminal Defense Lawyer Near Me

Before making any decisions if you are the subject of a permanent restraining order in Anaheim, it is wise to consult with an experienced criminal attorney. Your attorney will explain to you the reasons why the judge made the order, what it comprises, how it will be implemented, and your options. You can make choices that lead to a positive conclusion for your circumstances if you have an experienced attorney. At California Criminal Lawyer Group, we assist our clients in defending against restraining orders, the underlying domestic violence case, and PRO violation allegations in court.

Our team has excellent expertise and knowledge in addressing domestic abuse cases. As a result, we can employ the most effective techniques to uphold your rights and provide a just result. Call us at 714-766-0965 so we can work together to develop a defense plan that will protect you.