A restraining order, also known as an order of protection, is a Court order against an individual which requires them to do or not do certain acts. Restraining orders can last from several days to several years. Restraining orders typically include criminal penalties if the restrained individual violates the Court order. Restraining orders are most typical in domestic violence, stalking and abuse cases.
CLETS restraining orders only occur in California and CLETS stands for “California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System.” This means the information is given to law enforcement and if a CLETS restraining order is in place you cannot be in possession of a firearm. This can have a significant impact on you if you are employed in a profession that often requires a gun, such as a security guard or police officer. Furthermore, a CLETS restraining order will show up on a background check while lesser forms of restraining orders will not.
As a general rule a California judge will first order a temporary restraining order or TRO before granting a CLETS order. The temporary restraining order in California does not go into the CLETS database and will not come up on a background check. It will also generally not impact the restrained parties’ ability to possess a firearm.
A temporary restraining order in California is fairly easy to obtain and judges will often grant one as a precaution in divorce cases if requested. Although TRO’s protect the party, it does not affect any other rights of the restrained party until a CLETS order is obtained.
To increase a temporary restraining order to a CLETS order is usually a significant process that requires a detailed hearing and the presence of each party unless very unusual circumstances exist. The reason for this is a CLETS order goes on your background check, impacts your ability to possess a firearm, and will not go away without court action unlike a temporary restraining order, which usually expires in a matter of days, weeks, or months.
Given the sensitive and serious nature of restraining orders, it is usually wise to consult with a criminal defense attorney. Speaking with the proper lawyer will inform you of your rights as well as preserve any possible remedies you may have.