The court can order a person to do or refrain from doing something, this is known as a restraining order. A retaining order is the court’s way of legally stopping some criminal act such as stalking, sexual assault, or domestic violence.
- Is Violating a Restraining Order a Crime in California?
- Can I Be Automatically Found Guilty of Violating a Restraining Order?
- Are There Any Defenses I Can Use to Fight The Charge of Violating My Restraining Order?
- What Is the Criminal Punishment for Violating a Restraining Order?
- Should I Contact a Lawyer about My Charge?
Yes. California defines violating a restraining or protective order as failing to comply with the conditions and terms outlined in the order.
No. In order to be found guilty, the State has to prove the defendant violated the order.
Yes. Specific defenses depend on circumstances surrounding the violation. However, there are some common defenses such as:
- The alleged victim made a false claim the defendant violated the restraining order.
- The defendant didn’t know about the protective order.
- The order is not possible for the defendant to obey.
- The defendant accidentally violated the conditions and terms of the order.
- The order was illegally or improperly issued.
The punishment for violating a California restraining order depends on whether the defendant violated it before and if the victim suffered any physical injury from the violating.
The crime is considered to be a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If convicted of misdemeanor of a restraining order, it is punishable by up to 1 year in jail. The prosecutor may charge the defendant with a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case. If charged with a felony, the defendant can face up to 3 years in prison.
For a felony or a misdemeanor, the defendant may also face a fine, payment of restitution to the victim, counseling services, and relinquishing any personal firearms.
Yes. It’s in your best interest to talk to a California criminal lawyer about fighting a restraining order violation.