4 Types of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in CA

Domestic violence occurs when a current or former spouse/dating partner, someone you share a child with, a family member (through blood or marriage), or a current or former roommate inflicts harm or threatens to harm you and/or your children. If you or your children are victims of domestic violence in California, you have the right to obtain a restraining order against the abuser. 

The following are the three types of domestic violence restraining orders available to victims in California: 

  1. Emergency protective order – When the police are called to the scene of a domestic violence incident, an officer can contact a judge at any time to request an emergency protective order on your behalf. If the judge believes there you or your child is experiencing an immediate and present danger of abuse, then the order will be issued. An emergency protective order is valid for five business days or seven calendar days (whichever is short) to give you enough time to request a (permanent) domestic violence restraining order. 

  1. Temporary (ex parte) restraining order – When you apply for a restraining order in court, the clerk will schedule a court hearing, generally within three weeks. However, if you are in immediate danger, you can request a temporary (ex parte) restraining order to obtain protection against your abuser. This order lasts until the hearing date. 

  1. (Permanent) restraining order – Whether you attend in person or remotely, the court hearing gives both sides an opportunity to present their evidence. If the judge grants the final protective order, the order itself is valid for up to five years. 

  1. Criminal protective order – If the district attorney files criminal charges against the abuser, the criminal court will issue a criminal protective order or “stay-away” order against the defendant while the criminal case is ongoing. If the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty, the criminal protective order lasts for three years after the conclusion of the case. 

A domestic violence restraining order prohibits the abuser from committing any further violence against you, contacting or visiting you or anyone close to you, possessing a firearm or dangerous weapon, and offers other protections. Violating a protective order in California is a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum jail term of one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. However, if the violation involved an act of violence or if the defendant has a prior violation, then the offense is a felony that carries a prison sentence of up to three years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. 

If you are a victim of domestic violence in the San Fernando Valley, call Cutter & Lax Attorneys at Law at (818) 839-2533 or fill out our online contact form to schedule an initial consultation. We serve clients in Sherman Oaks, Encino, Van Nuys, Studio City, and beyond!