Restraining orders, especially those related to domestic violence, are legal instruments that are frequently used in Southern California to protect individuals from various forms of abuse, such as physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual mistreatment. If you are accused of domestic violence and served with a restraining order, it's vital to understand the terms of the order, as failure to comply can lead to serious consequences.
If you have been accused of violating a restraining order, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.
Common Ways to Violate a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
Though restraining orders are designed to be followed, there are numerous ways they can be violated. Some common violations include:
- Residential Restrictions: Failing to leave a shared residence with the protected individual.
- Proximity Limitations: Not staying away from specific locations, such as the protected person's workplace or children's schools.
- Contact Violations: Contacting the protected person through any means (in person, phone, email, social media, etc.) when a "no contact" condition is in place.
- Threats and Abuse: Threatening physical harm to the protected person.
- Child Visitation Violations: Not adhering to court-ordered child visitation guidelines.
- Financial Non-Compliance: Neglecting to pay court-ordered child or spousal support or specific bills.
- Property Restrictions: Failing to return property as outlined in the court order.
- Gun Possession: Possessing a firearm when the order requires its forfeiture or when convicted of specific crimes.
- Victim-Initiated Contact: Even if the victim violates the order, the restrained individual must still adhere to it, or they may face consequences.
- Repetitive Violations: Repeatedly violating the restraining order, leading to escalated penalties.
Consequences of Violating a Restraining Order
Understanding the legal repercussions of violating a domestic violence restraining order in Southern California is critical to grasp the severity of non-compliance. Typically, the first violation is considered a misdemeanor, leading to:
- Up to one year in jail and/or a maximum $1,000 fine ($2,000 if injury occurs).
- Potential probation with conditions like anger management classes, substance abuse counseling, and payments to shelters or victims.
A second violation within a year that results in injury may lead to a mandatory minimum of six months in jail, with specific provisions for reduced sentences. If violations escalate to felony level, consequences can include:
- Three to five years of probation with jail time or 16 months to three years in prison.
- Fines up to $10,000.
- Changes in child visitation rights, support payments, or extensions of the restraining order.
Continued disobedience of a restraining order is treated severely. Successive violations within seven years can escalate to felony charges with heavy fines and significant imprisonment.
Seek Expert Legal Help
Facing a domestic violence restraining order is a challenging legal matter. Comprehending the complexities and adhering to the order is vital to avoid severe consequences. If you find yourself in this situation in Southern California, Law Office of Michael L. Fell offers professional legal support to guide you through the legal maze. Contact us today at (949) 585-9055 to understand your rights and obligations.