A California restraining order, also known as a “protective order,” is designed to protect the victims of abuse, harassment, threats, or stalking. These legally binding orders are a way to remove an offender from the victim’s home, keep the offender a certain distance away, or prevent him or her from engaging in certain activities. Offenders who violate a restraining order face a number of penalties, and more importantly, restraining orders can give abuse victims a sense of peace and safety.
Protecting you and your family is a serious, critical matter. The peace of mind that comes with a restraining order can help you get things back on track and move forward in your life. If you or a loved one are interested in obtaining a restraining order, call the Law Office of Heath L. Baker at (951) 222-2228 or contact us online. Mr. Baker will discuss your case in a free, confidential consultation and determine the best option for your unique situation.
Elements of a Restraining Order
In the state of California, a restraining order can include:
- Residence exclusion orders: Also known as a “kick-out” or “move-out” order, these orders tell the restrained person to move out from the victim’s place of residence. It also stipulates that the restrained person take only clothing and personal belongings until the court hearing takes place. These orders only apply in cases of domestic violence, elder abuse, or dependent adult abuse.
- Personal conduct orders: These orders require the restrained person to stop specific acts against the victim. This can include calling, sending any type of messages, attacking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, harassing, destroying personal property, or disturbing the victim’s peace.
- Stay-away orders: When one thinks of a restraining order, this is typically what comes to mind. These orders require the restrained person to stay a certain distance away from the protected person, their place of residence, their work, their children’s school, their children’s place of child care, their vehicle, or other key places in the victim’s life.
The circumstances of each case will determine what elements of a restraining order should be included. Consulting an experienced family law representative is the best way to figure out what your restraining order should contain.
Types of Restraining Orders
In addition to the different elements involved in a restraining order, there are four distinct types of restraining orders one can pursue.
Domestic violence restraining orders are designed for situations of abuse that involve two people in a close relationship. A wide range of relationships can qualify as a “close relationship,” including spouses, registered domestic partners, divorced couples, separated couples, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents of a child, a couple who lives together, or a couple who used to live together.
Domestic violence restraining orders can be split into four different levels of protection:
- Emergency Protective Order: This type of order is issued by a judge, taking effect right away and lasting up to one week. An EPO can order the abuser to leave the home and stay away from the victim and his or her children for up to a week. This type of order is designed to give the victim time to obtain a temporary restraining order.
- Temporary Restraining Order: This type of order lasts between 20 and 25 days, up until the date of the court hearing. Obtaining a TRO requires filling out a set of paperwork and having it reviewed by a judge.
- Permanent Restraining Order: This type of order is not actually permanent, and it typically lasts up to 3 years. After that period of time has expired, the victim can seek a new restraining order to keep the protection in place.
- Criminal Protective Order: This type of order is issued by a criminal court if a domestic violence incident—or series of incidents—leads to criminal charges filed by the district attorney. Criminal protective orders, also known as “stay-away orders,” typically last the length of the criminal case and, as long as the abuser is found guilty, up to three years after the case ends.
- Elder or dependent adult abuse restraining orders are designed for victims age 65 and older or those between 18 and 64 who have mental or physical disabilities that keep them from being able to protect themselves or perform day-to-day activities. This type of restraining order can apply in situations of physical abuse, financial abuse, neglect, abandonment, harmful treatment, or deprivation of basic goods or services by a caregiver.
- Civil harassment restraining orders are designed for those being abused, threatened, stalked, or harassed by someone they are not in a “close relationship” with. This can include roommates, neighbors, or distant family members.
- Workplace violence restraining orders are designed for employers who want to protect employees from stalking, harassment, violence, or threats in the workplace. Workplace violence restraining orders are not sought by employees; rather, the employer must obtain the restraining order on behalf of the employee. If an employee wishes to obtain a restraining order, he or she can seek a civil harassment restraining order or domestic violence restraining order (depending on the relationship with the offender).
Contact The Law Office of Heath Baker
Attorney Heath L. Baker has the unique legal experience you need on your side. Mr. Baker spent several years with the Riverside Police Department, which taught him the ins and outs of a police investigation, the court process, and criminal prosecution. After retiring from the police department, Mr. Baker worked as a licensed private investigator for both criminal and civil cases, allowing him to further hone his investigative skills. This experience allows Mr. Baker to provide support for a case and see every angle as only a former police officer and private investigator can.
If you are seeking a restraining order of any type, Mr. Baker can help. As an experienced investigator who is familiar with the justice system, Mr. Baker can help you build a strong case and ensure the best chance of success. Call (951) 222-2228 or contact us online to talk through your options in a free, confidential consultation.