In a domestic violence situation, violation of a restraining order is a serious crime that can net serious time in jail. Under the California Penal Code 273.6 PC, criminalizes any obstruction of this order. If you have been accused of a restraining order violation, now is the time to seek out proper representation. Only a skilled attorney can avail you of your rights and aggressively defend you on these matters.
There are four types of restraining orders under the California Penal Code:
- Domestic Violence Restraining Order: These are issued when you have been on the receiving end of violence from a domestic partner.
- Civil Harassment Restraining Order: This type of order serves to protect individuals who are not in intimate relationships. This is usually against taken out against a neighbor.
- Elder Abuse Restraining Order: This order is designed to help elders 65 year of age or older and individuals with intellectual disabilities.
- Workplace Violence Restraining Order: This protects employees from former employees who have made violent threats against the company or employees.
Who can be charged with restraining order violations?
Restraining orders are very specific. If you have been told not to contact an individual under certain circumstances, you can be charged if you are in violation of specific elements:
- If a judge factually issued a restraining order against you
- If you knew factually that the restraining order was in place and you purposefully violated it
- You willfully broke the restraining order
What are prosecutors required to prove?
If you are charged with violation of a restraining order, there are certain elements that the prosecutor is required to prove to secure a conviction:
- It must be proven that you in fact had a restraining order issued against you, and that it was lawfully issued by a judge
- Also, it must be proven in court that you had full knowledge of the order in an oral or written manner
- It must also be proven that it was intentional. For instance, if the person with whom you have the order crosses your path, that should be considered coincidental. The prosecutor must prove it was not
This is why a person who has been accused of violating a restraining order should seek out a skilled lawyer who handles these sort of issues. Not everything is cut and dry. Mistakes can and have been made. Find an attorney that will vigorously defend your case. Here are some common defense strategies:
- Your attorney can challenge the restraining order and prove it was not issued in a proper manner
- Even if the order is valid, your attorney could also prove that you were unaware of its existence
- Your lawyer can prove that the crossing of paths was purely concidental
- And lastly, a defense attorney could also show that the violation accusation was made out of spite by the aggrieved party
If you have a good attorney on your side, there are a number of ways you can poke holes in an accusation of violating a restraining order. The best thing to do is go in for a free consultation. Allow your attorney to look over your case and formulate a successful strategy. Remember, you have rights under the law just as the other party. Cases like this are time-sensitive. Find an experienced attorney as quickly as you can so you will have a fighting chance of winning your case.