Restraining Orders Attorney
Restraining Orders are orders made by a court which set limitations people’s conduct. Typically restraining orders include a list of “protected parties”, which are the people who one must stay away from or modify their behavior towards. In addition to listing the people who are protected by a restraining order, a restraining order will set limitations on one’s behavior. Sometimes these are geographic limitations such as “ stay 500 yards away from a specific address.” Other times these limitations set boundaries for behavior such as prohibiting any contact with an individual.
Types of Restraining Orders California Recognizes
There are two primary types of Restraining Orders California Courts utilize. The most common type is a domestic violence restraining order. These are restraining orders made in a family law court and cover situations arising out of a family or romantic context. These types of restraining orders are typically easier to secure or harder to defend against, due to a lighter burden of proof that must be met by the petitioner. The second type of restraining order is what is called a civil harassment restraining order. These are restraining orders that are made in a civil court and these arise out of relationships that are not familial or romantic, such as neighbors who are in a dispute. The primary differences between these two types of orders are the nature of the relationship of the parties, the courts the cases are heard in, and the burden of proof needed to secure each type of restraining order. If you need to file a restraining order, an experienced restraining order attorney can analyze your situation to determine which type is appropriate. If you are defending against one of these types of restraining order, in California, our restraining order attorneys can assist you in preparing and executing your best defense.
Violating a Restraining Order in California
Violating a restraining order in California is a criminal offense. Often times if the courts find out that someone violated their restraining order the local district attorney will file a misdemeanor charge. Other times, if a restraining order is violated in the broader context of a family law case, the family law court may take the matter up and hold the offender in contempt of court. All criminal matters should be taken very seriously. If you have violated a restraining order, you should contact one of our restraining order attorneys immediately.
Impact of a Restraining Order
The most obvious consequence of a restraining order is that is creates an often burdensome restraint on someone’s liberty. The impact of these restraints varies, but in some instances in can be extraordinarily burdensome for example if someone is restrained from coming to their own home, due to the fact that the protected parties live there. Being restricted from one’s own home can terribly burdensome, particularly if the restrained party has no alternative place to live. Other situations which create extraordinary hardship is when one is prohibited from going near their own place of business. If you are dealing with this type of restriction you should seek the assistance of one of our restraining order attorneys immediately.
A less obvious consequence of a restraining order in California, is that there is a database shared by law enforcement agencies called the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System or CLETS database. The effect of having your name listed in this CLETS database is to essentially create a blemish on your record. This can have various consequences ranging from police officers harassing you if you are pulled over, because their database shows you have a restraining order, to an inability to get security clearance resulting in a loss of one’s profession if one’s profession requires security clearance. We have represented hundreds of clients whose career is in jeopardy due to a CLETS blemish coming up in security checks. This risk should not be underestimated. CLETS restraining orders regularly cost people their jobs. Our restraining order attorney will be able to help you determine whether the restraining order you are facing is a CLETS restraining order or not.
Another consequence of restraining orders is that they can have a direct impact on one’s child custody. This can happen in a couple different ways. One of the way is that a parent who is filing for a restraining order against their spouse will often list the children of the relationship as “protected parties”. If that Restraining order is granted then the restricted parent will lose access to their children according to the terms of the order. In other situations, the issue of custody is taken up by the court in conjunction with a restraining order, and a judge may make formal custody orders or modifications of current custody orders. Moreover, the California Family Code mandates that any parent found to be guilty of domestic violence is presumptively unfit for custody of their children. This legal presumption can be triggered in domestic violence situations. These are just a couple of the man ways in which restraining orders typically impact child custody, the assistance of a capable restraining order attorney is essential to protect your custody of your children.
Petitioning for a Restraining Order
If you are facing a domestic violence situation or a civil harassment situation then a restraining order may be an option as a way to protect yourself. An experienced restraining order attorney can help you file for (or petition the court) a restraining order. It is important that you work with an experienced restraining order attorney when filing for a restraining order, as they will be able to help you navigate the confusing legal process and increase the likelihood you will succeed by painting an accurate picture for the court.
Defending against a Restraining Order
Defending against a restraining order can be a tricky process, that should always be guided by a skilled restraining order attorney. One of the primary obstacles to defending against a restraining order is that they often accompany actual or potential criminal charges, usually for domestic violence. Given that there is likely a criminal investigation accompanying the circumstances surrounding a restraining order, the question becomes, how to properly defend against the allegations, without incriminating one’s self. In other words, a decision must be made as to whether or not the respondent to the restraining order should testify at the restraining order. This is a decision that must be made very carefully under the well considered advice of an experienced restraining order attorney. Typically the respondent is his or her own best witness in terms of his/ her ability to testify to the relevant events and circumstances, however, testifying on one’s own behalf open’s that person up to cross-examination by the other party. The risk in testifying under oath under cross-examination is that you run the risk of saying something that can be used against you in a criminal prosecution.