January 7, 2013 By Wallin & Klarich

A civil restraining order is a court order that can help protect people who have been abused, threatened with abuse, or are being harassed. A civil restraining order is a court order, and does not become a criminal action unless the order is violated.

The most common civil restraining order is a domestic violence restraining order. It is appropriate in circumstances where you and the person you want to restrain are:

1) Married or registered domestic partners 2) Divorced or separated 3) Dating or used to date 4) Living together or used to live together 5) Parents of a child

The other common type of restraining order is a civil harassment restraining order. A civil harassment restraining order is a court order that helps protect people from violence, stalking, serious harassment, or threats of violence. You can ask for a civil harassment restraining order if: a person has abused (or threatened to abuse), sexually assaulted, stalked, or seriously harassed you, AND you are scared or seriously annoyed or harassed.

In California, having the court issue a civil restaining order against you is not equivalent to a criminal conviction. Typically, the consequences of a restraining order are the restriction of movement or behavior of the restrained person, and restrictions on the restrained person’s ability to own and possess a firearm.

However, if a restraining order is violated in California, there are serious criminal consequences. California Penal Code section 273.6 states in pertinent part any intentional and knowing violation of a protective order is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by both fine and imprisonment.

California Penal Code section 273.6 additionally states that “in the event of a violation of the restraining order that results in physical injury, the person shall be punished by a fine or by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

With the potential for criminal consequences involved in violating a restraining order, the person whom sought the order may seek to maliciously place the restrained person in a situation were the order is violated. For example the protected person may intentional go to places were the restrained person is, or seek to contact the restrained person. With restraining orders allowed to be granted for up to five years by the court, the potential for malicious abuse of the order is a frightening prospect.

The attorneys at Wallin and Klarich have experience in defending people against restraining orders and alleged violations of restraining orders in Ventura County. The best way to avoid facing an allegation of violating a restraining order is to prevent the restraining order from being granted in the first place. However if a restraining order is granted, and you now face a potential violation of a restraining order, it is important to hire an experienced and aggressive criminal defense firm to fight for your freedom.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for violating a restraining order, or are facing the prospect of having a restraining order granted against you, it is imperative you contact our firm. Hiring an experienced criminal defense law firm is the best way to ensure you keep your freedom. Our restraining order defense lawyers are here to help you. We have offices in Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange County. Call us now at 888-280-6839 or go to our website at www.wklaw.com for more information. We will get through this together.

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