San Diego Restraining Order Defense
When you need to defend yourself against a restraining order, an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney’s job is to protect and advance your rights. Restraining order law in California is complex, and having a knowledgeable, skilled criminal defense attorney working on your behalf can help you to understand the implications of a restraining order, and how you can defend yourself against baseless claims.
Types of Restraining Orders in San Diego
Under the law, there are four types of restraining orders that an individual in the state of California may request or be served with:
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Emergency Protective Order (EPO)
This type of restraining order is issued by law enforcement, is valid for five days, and is often used in conjunction with allegations of domestic violence. Under an emergency protective order, the party on the receiving end of the EPO may be ordered to leave his or her home, not make any contact with the complaining party, and even be prohibited from seeing his or her children, depending on the circumstances.
- Criminal Protective Order (also called a “No Contact” order or CPO)
This type of restraining order is obtained through the District Attorney or City Attorney’s office and is issued in active domestic violence cases and criminal cases.
- Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order (TRO or DVRO)
This type of restraining order is considered a civil restraining order. At first, it is a temporary restraining order—usually valid for about three weeks—but it can be extended or made permanent for one to three years.
- Civil Harassment Restraining Order (CHO)
This type of restraining order is considered a civil order. It is primarily used for stopping the harassment or annoyance instigated by an individual such as a roommate, a co-worker, or a neighbor.
Conduct Covered by a Restraining Order in San Diego
Restraining orders are issued to prevent the restrained individual from any of the following activities or behavior:
- Stalking, striking, harassing, annoying, following, disturbing the peace of the protected person—i.e. the petitioner
- Having direct or indirect personal, telephone, written, or electronic contact with the complaining party, including e-mails, text messages, or social media contact
- Coming within 100 yards of the protected person(s)
Implications of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in San Diego
Under the law, a domestic violence restraining order may require the defendant—the party served with the restraining order—to adhere to several restrictions and compulsions:
- The defendant is prohibited from assaulting, threatening, abusing, following, harassing, or interfering in any way with the complaining party, the complaining party’s children, housemates and/or workmates. The defendant cannot commit any of these offenses either in person, by phone, online, or by any other means.
- The defendant is ordered to avoid any location where the complaining party may be, such as the complaining party’s school, his or her children’s school, workplace, home of friends, and/or personal dwelling place.
- A defendant who has been served with a domestic violence restraining order in San Diego County is prohibited from either purchasing or possessing a firearm.
- A defendant served with a domestic violence restraining order may be removed from his or her home if his/her presence conflicts with the complaining party’s.
- In the event of a domestic violence restraining order, the complaining party may be given temporary but complete control over property that is co-owned, such as a car, boat, computer, electronics, bank accounts, appliances, and other items and property.
- The defendant served with the restraining order may be ordered to continue loan payments or certain bills.
- The defendant may be ordered to return any property or items that belong to the complaining party.
- The defendant may be ordered to pay money or fees to the complaining party if the complaining party was forced to miss work, or had other extenuating fees, such as ambulance payments, medical and/or dental bills, bills as a result of finding alternate shelter, legal fees, counseling and therapy fees
- The defendant may be ordered to attend counseling, rehab, or a treatment program for batterers.
- The defendant may be prohibited from participating in certain aspects or decisions regarding his or her child’s life, such as where the child or children will reside, how the child or children will spend time with either parent, including visitation location and time
Violating a Restraining Order in San Diego
The penalties for violating a restraining order vary depending on a few key factors, including whether or not you have any prior offenses, violations, or a criminal record, and whether or not the victim alleges that they suffered any physical injuries for which you are responsible.
Should the restrained party violate a restraining order, the consequences in San Diego may include one or some of the following:
- Jail time up to one year if the offense is considered a misdemeanor
- Jail time up to three years if the offense is considered a felony
- Restitution paid to the petitioner/accuser to potentially cover any counseling, medical bills, legal fees, or any other fees incurred as a result of the offense
- The individual who violated the restraining order may be ordered to relinquish any firearms and may not be eligible to purchase firearms in the future
- Various and significant court fines and fees
Defending Against a Restraining Order in San Diego
Those who have been served with a restraining order still have legal rights, including the following:
- The defendant must be given official notice of the restraining order, and this official notice must be personally delivered
- The defendant has the legal right to respond to the allegations made by the petitioner (the complaining party)
- The defendant has the legal right to a court hearing before a judge regarding the issue as to whether a permanent restraining order should be granted or denied.
Defending Against Restraining Orders in San Diego
Anna R. Yum is an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney who can ensure that your legal rights are protected and well represented should you need to defend yourself against a restraining order or a restraining order violation.
To discuss the details of your case in a no-strings-attached, confidential consultation, contact the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum at (619) 233-4433