Understanding California Restraining Orders

As people continue to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, data suggests that the rates of domestic violence are rising across the nation. Whether it’s due to the frustration of being stuck at home together or the lack of other outlets for anger and energy, this can spell danger for many people in abusive relationships. If you are in danger, the first thing you need to do is physically remove yourself from the situation – leave. However, we understand that it is not always that simple or straightforward. If you want to take legal measures to protect yourself, it’s a good idea to get a restraining order against your abuser. Read on to discover the answers to some common questions about restraining orders in California.

Who can I take out a restraining order against?

California law allows you to take out a restraining order on anyone who is subjecting you to unwanted attention, violence, or verbal abuse. Some people think you can only take a restraining order out against your spouse but that is not the case. You can just as easily take out a restraining order for your boyfriend or ex.

What does a restraining order do?

A restraining order will make it illegal for the person to approach you or contact you. If they disobey the restraining order, they can be arrested.

Is a restraining order the same as a protective order?

They are similar. Protective orders are for criminal matters while restraining orders are for family law matters like domestic violence. This can be confusing when you consider that perpetuating domestic violence is a crime. A good rule of thumb is that if you are seeking protection from someone who is currently or ever has been part of your household, then it would be a restraining order rather than a protective order.

How long does a restraining order last?

There are different types of restraining orders that last different amounts of time. Temporary restraining orders (TROs) last a maximum of 25 days and need to be served. Permanent restraining orders are not actually permanent but last up to five years and can be renewed. They require a hearing.

What if I’m in an emergency situation?

If you are facing an emergency, call 911. A law enforcement agent can diffuse the situation and keep you safe, as well as requesting an emergency restraining order from a judge on your behalf. Once issued, these are effective immediately. They only last up to seven days, but this gives you safety for long enough to apply with the court for a domestic violence restraining order that will protect you for longer.

Who can help me get a restraining order or learn more?

If you want to protect yourself with a restraining order but don’t know where to begin or have questions, Writer Law is here to help. We want to help you obtain protection for yourself and your children. Contact us today to begin your journey to the safety you deserve.