A restraining order is a court order that helps protect a person or group of people from being harassed, abused or threatened. There are three types of restraining orders in California. The first can order that certain behavior be stopped against a protected party. These acts can include calling, stalking, making threats or attacking another person or group of people. The second is a stay away order which lays out specific distances that one must stay away from the protected party. This type of order usually also includes places the protected party is likely to be such as their home, office or vehicle. The third type of restraining order in California is a residence exclusion order. The residence exclusion order is an order in which a person must move out and only remove their personal belongings until a hearing. Residence inclusion orders are only considered in cases where abuse is present in the home.
Restraining Order in Los Angeles
There are four categories that restraining orders fall into in California.
Domestic Violence Restraining order
In this case the parties involved must meet the following criteria:
- Currently or previously married or domestic partners
- Currently or previously living together
- Currently or previously dating
- Have children together under the age of 18
Civil Harassment Restraining Order
A civil harassment restraining order can help protect people from stalking, assault, abuse and other serious harassment situations from neighbors, friends, family members and other people that they are not in a close relationship with.
In this case the protected party must prove a credible threat of violence which means that a reasonable person would be afraid for their safety or the safety of their family.
Elder Abuse Restraining Orders
An elder abuse restraining order can be filed if the protected party is 65 years or older. It also protects dependent adults between 18 and 64 years of age that have disabilities.
Elder abuse and dependent adult abuse includes:
- Abuse, abandonment or neglect
- Isolation or abduction
- Financial abuse
- Caregivers depriving the victim of services that they need to avoid physical harm or mental suffering
Workplace Violence Restraining Order
The workplace violence restraining order protects employees from harassment or contact from certain people or parties. The order can last up to three years and must be obtained by the employer and cannot be requested by the employee.
What to Do if You Have a Restraining Order
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If you find yourself in a situation where you have been charged with a restraining order, the consequences can be serious. It is important that you fully understand the details of the restraining order and follow them to keep yourself out of further legal issues. If you received a restraining order from a domestic violence accusation, it can have very serious effects on your life. Once a restraining order is issued, a hearing is scheduled quickly so it is important to act fast. The protected party has already presented evidence to the court that shows good reason to implement a restraining order. Once you are served with a restraining order, a hearing will be arranged within 21 days in order to review the evidence and determine if the order shall be continued. It is always a good idea to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side to explain your situation.
Violating a Restraining Order
If you violate a restraining order, there can be serious consequences. This can be common when people are anxious to explain their side of the story to the protected person and feel they cannot wait for the court date to do so. The consequences for violating a restraining order can include up to three years in prison, fines, counseling, restitution. There can be additional penalties if the protected person obtained injuries during the order violation, and if this incident was not a first offense.
Contact a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney to Help
Sometimes a restraining order is just the gateway into many other legal battles. It is important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side to ensure your legal rights are protected. If you are facing domestic violence charges, or any other charges related to a restraining order, contact Robert M Helfend for experienced, professional legal representation in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.