California Restraining Order Violations

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California Restraining Order Violations

Restraining Order Violations and Contempt of Court

When a civil court order, such as restraining orders, are violated, this is considered “Contempt of Court.” A violation such as this happens if you intentionally ignore a legal restraining order, also known as a “protective order,” issued by a judge. Under California Penal Code Section 273.6, contempt violations are considered a criminal act, punishable by fines and/or imprisonment.

In order to prove a conviction for violation of a restraining order under Penal Code 273.6, a prosecutor must prove: (1) a judge issued a legal protective order; (2) the defendant was aware of the legal protective order; and (3) the defendant knew they were intentionally violating the legal protective order.

California Restraining Order Violation Penalties

Even though protective order violations are usually considered misdemeanors, the penalties under Penal Code 273.6 can be up to a year in county jail and a fine of as much as $1,000. If convicted of violating a protective order a second time, it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, which  includes anywhere from probation and as much as one year in jail, to three years in a state prison and maximum fine as much as $10,000. If the second conviction is within one year of the first, the penalties and fines are greater. If the violation of a protective order results in personal bodily injury, there is also a statutory minimum requirement of 30 days in jail.

California Restraining Order Violation Defenses

Legal defenses that can be used if you are charged with violating a protective restraining order include the following:

1. Lack of Intent: If a person is unaware that a protective order has been issued, and therefore violates it, they cannot be convicted of a violation. An example is if you accidentally have a chance encounter with somebody in a public place or at a social function who has had a protective restraining order issued against you.

2. Lack of Knowledge: To be convicted of a restraining order violation, the court must prove you had knowledge of the protective order. If you are unaware that a protective order has been issued, you cannot be convicted for violating it.

3. False Accusation: A person who has been issued a protected order may falsely accuse you of attempting  to contact them in violation of the order. They may also try to arrange a meeting with you in order to make you violate a restraining order. These are some ways a protected person can try to falsely accuse you of violating their protective restraining order.

If you have been accused of violating a protective restraining order, you need the expert legal assistance of Sevens Legal, APC. Schedule a consultation today!

Sevens Legal, APC
Criminal Defense Attorneys
3555 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-2800

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