Restraining Orders

What is a Restraining Order?

A Restraining Order is a type of court order that helps a person avoid harassment and abuse.  It orders one person to stop contacting and/or coming near another person (or people).  In California, there are four different kinds of restraining orders:

1.)  Emergency Protective Order (EPO):  An EPO is a restraining order issued by law enforcement. Emergency Protective Orders are valid for five days and are usually obtained by victims in domestic abuse cases.

2.)  Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order (TRO or DVRO):  A DVRO (TRO) is a Restraining Order issued by a civil court. Temporary Restraining Orders are limited to three weeks, but they can be turned into permanent Restraining Orders that last one to three years. As the name implies, a DVRO is used in domestic abuse cases. California Domestic Violence laws define what types of relationships that qualify for a DVRO (e.g., people who are or were married or dating).

3.)  Criminal Protective Order (“No Contact” order):  A Criminal Protective Order is a Restraining Order issued by the District Attorney’s office in active criminal domestic violence cases.

4.)  Civil Harassment Restraining Order (CHO): A CHO is a Restraining Order issued by a civil court. It can be used to stop harassment and other threatening or annoying behavior by co-workers, neighbors, roommates and others. Civil Harassment Restraining Orders are generally not issued in domestic violence cases.

Restraining Orders can be used to keep the restrained person from:

  • Annoying, harassing, hitting, stalking or disturbing the protected person(s).
  • Having direct or indirect contact with the protected person(s) by telephone, email, text, instant messages, letters, notes or any other written or electronic means.
  • Coming within a certain distance of the protected person(s), including the workplace, home or school.

Violating a restraining order can result in arrest and incarceration.  If you have been served with a restraining order or have violated an existing restraining order, you should contact Damian Siwek, an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, at DCS Defense to schedule a no-cost confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.

Restraining Order Violations

A Restraining Order goes into effect when it is served (i.e., the person being restraining gets notice of it).  After that point the alleged victim cannot be contacted.  If the alleged victim is contacted, the Restraining Order has been violated and the restrained person can be found to be in contempt of a court.  Contempt of court can be charged as a misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to one year in county jail.

How a Restraining Order Lawyer In Los Angeles Can Help

You must be officially notified that a Restraining Order has been filed against you in order for it to be valid.  Formal copies of the Restraining Order Notice must be personally delivered to you. The copies must be easy-to-read and must include Form DV-120, the “Answer to Temporary Restraining Order.”  It is extremely important to formally file an “Answer” with the court.  The Answer is your chance to respond to the alleged victim’s claims.  At the hearing, the judge will consider the Answer when deciding whether to cancel the Restraining Order, change the terms or issue a permanent Restraining Order.  Arriving at the Restraining Order Hearing early, prepared and with an experienced criminal defense attorney ensures the best possible outcome.

Not having an attorney at a Restraining Order Hearing gives the alleged victim the advantage, especially if he or she has an attorney.  The other attorney will have prepared in a way that only a skilled defense attorney would know.  Even though you can ask the judge to move the hearing to a later date in order for you to hire an attorney, the court will charge you additional fees and the alleged victim will have even more time to prepare a case against you.  Immediately involving an attorney can increase your chance of winning, can get the situation resolved as quickly as possible and can save money.

A skilled criminal defense attorney will:

Draft appropriate court documents and ensure they are filed on time.

  • Prepare you for testifying.
  • Skillfully respond to the judge’s questions and demands.
  • Be prepared for any unusual circumstances.

The guidance of an experienced restraining order attorney from DCS Defense can substantially improve your chances of obtaining the best outcome possible.

For aggressive and effective representation against restraining orders, including a free confidential consultation, contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Damian Siwek at DCS Defense.