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 it’s 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.
If you have been served with a restraining order, you need the expert advice and experience of a criminal defense attorney such as Sevens Legal, APC. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.
Criminal Defense Attorneys
3555 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-2800