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Domestic violence restraining orders in California

When Californians are involved in domestic violence incidents, they may seek protection through obtaining domestic violence restraining orders. Therefore, it may be helpful for those who have experienced such situations to understand the different types of domestic violence restraining orders that may be issued against them.

According to the Judicial Council of California, there are four types of domestic violence restraining orders – temporary restraining orders, permanent restraining orders, criminal protective orders and emergency protective orders. A violation of these orders may result in a fine, jail time or both.

Temporary restraining orders are just that, temporary. Typically lasting between 20 and 25 days, they provide protection until the court hearing. In seeking this type of order, people detail the events that occurred and why they feel they need protection, and a judge determines whether to grant the protective order.

Permanent restraining orders, although not actually permanent, provide protection for a longer period. These orders may last up to five years and, at the end of the order’s protection period, people may seek new orders to continue their protection.

When criminal charges are filed by the state in domestic violence cases, the court often issues criminal protective, or stay-away, orders. These remain in place for the duration of the criminal trial. If the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty of the charges against them, the protective order remains in place for three years after the trial.

Unlike the other restraining order types, emergency protective orders may only be asked for by law enforcement. If they see fit when answering a domestic violence call, the authorities may contact an on-call judge to obtain such orders. EPOs take effect immediately and provide protection for up to seven days.

According to FindLaw, restraining orders may include a variety of provisions. This includes no contact, peaceful contact, stay away, move out, firearms and counseling; which may limit the alleged abusers’ rights, require them to take certain actions, and dictate if and how they can communicate with the alleged victims.

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