It seems that Johnny Manziel is once again back in the news - but not because of his football ability. Rather, Manziel’s girlfriend, Colleen Crowley has accused him of beating her up and has sought a protective order against the NFL quarterback.
Protective Order Issued Against Johnny Manziel
Manziel rose to fame as the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy when he played for Texas A&M. Now the quarterback’s girlfriend has requested a protective order against him. As part of her request for that protective order, Colleen Crowley was asked to outline in an affidavit what happened on the night that Manziel allegedly beat her up. In that signed document, Crowley details a horrific night during which Manziel allegedly kept her from leaving his hotel room, then threw her back in a car by her hair, and slapped her hard enough to cause near permanent damage of her left ear.
The Alleged Attack
According to the affidavit, this past January 29, Crowley and Manziel went out to dinner with three other people. The group then went to Sidebar, and later on to Clutch bar. From there, the group took an Uber to Travis, another club. After Travis, the group decided to head over to an after party at Hotel ZaZa.
“We planned to spend the night together in his room there,” Crowley said.
After hanging out at Manziel’s room for a bit, the three friends left. At that point the couple started talking “about things I had heard earlier in the week about him being with a girl who had caused us problems in the past,” Crowley said. She then told Manziel that if she decided to actually spend the night, as was planned, that she would be sleeping on the couch.
At that point Manziel threw her on the bed. Crowley then made an attempt to leave, but Manziel “restrained her” from opening the room door. She “became very scared he was going to hurt me.”
Manziel and Crowley then left the hotel in her car, deciding to drive back to Crowley’s Fort Worth apartment. Though the fight continued, Crowley said it was “more verbal than physical.” At her apartment, the fight returned to a more physical one. After smashing Crowley’s phone on the tile of her apartment when she tried to FaceTime her parents Manziel then left the apartment. Crowley attempted to use her computer to FaceTime her parents, but when Manziel returned from outside he asked if she had tried to FaceTime them. She told him “no,” but then he went over to look at her computer.
“I was in my kitchen so out of fear for my life, I pulled a knife out of my knife block and advanced toward him,” Crowley said. “He ran out of the apartment. I threw the knife down and followed behind him to make sure he had gone.”
Manziel then sparked off a police hunt, complete with helicopter aid, but the authorities were unable to find him.
Restraining and Protective Order
Crowley’s request for a restraining protective order has been granted. It requires Manziel to stay away from her for two years. Dallas and Forth Worth police are both investigating the incident.
Issuance of Domestic Violence Restraining Order
In order to help prevent domestic violence, judges can issue a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (“DVRO”). If you have been served with a DVRO, formal copies of the restraining order must be delivered to you personally. As part of the copies you’ll receive a form to fill out to schedule a hearing and respond to the restraining order claims against you. As soon as you receive the restraining order, it’s important to obey the terms, otherwise you may have to pay a fine, go to jail, or both, if you are found to be in violation of the restraining order.
A Restraining Order is Valid When Officially Served
A Restraining Order becomes effective and valid as soon as you have been officially notified and it has been personally served to you. The copies of the order must be “easy-to-read” and Form DV-120 (i.e., “Answer to Temporary Restraining Order”) must be included. You must formally file an “Answer” in order to respond to the alleged victim’s allegations against you. At the Restraining Order hearing, the judge will take the “Answer” into consideration to decide whether to cancel the order, change its terms, or make the Restraining Order permanent.
During the preparation for a Restraining Order hearing it’s invaluable to have an experienced criminal defense attorney prepare your “Answer.”
Consequences of a Restraining Order
A court ordered Restraining Order against you can be very restrictive. After officially being notified, there are a variety of effects against you as the person being restrained:
- You are prohibited from contacting the alleged victim.
- You cannot do certain things or go to certain places.
- You may have to leave your home.
- You may not be able to see your children.
- You normally are prohibited from owning a gun. (You may be required to turn it in, sell it, or store it somewhere else, and will be unable to buy a gun during the period of the restraining order.)
- Your immigration status may be affected.
- If you contact the alleged victim, you will be in violation of the Restraining Order and will be in contempt of court, which can be charged as a misdemeanor, with up to a year in county jail.
Violations of a Restraining Order can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor under Penal Code 136.1 and 136.2, and could include jail or prison time if convicted. Under Penal Code 166 criminal charges for contempt of court can be brought if you were aware of the order, failed to obey it if you were able to, and willingly failed to obey it. The court treats criminal contempt of court charges very harshly. Violation of a domestic restraining order may also be prosecuted under PC 273.6. This code addresses the intentional violation of a restraining order that has been issued.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Criminal Defense Attorneys
3555 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-2800