The California Department of Justice reports approximately 160,000 domestic-violence-related calls for assistance annually across the state, amounting to more than six such calls per 1,000 residents. Domestic violence offenses are some of the most common crimes. Yet, they often go unreported, typically out of fear that the abuser will intensify the violence or expand it to victimize other family members. Most people imagine physical abuse such as hitting, punching, or sexual assault when they think about domestic violence. Still, this problem encompasses a wide range of abusive behaviors, including stalking, harassment, destroying property, posting harmful information online, making threats or promises of violence to the victim, their family members, and pets, and abusing, endangering, or neglecting children.
If you have experienced domestic violence, you can file for a domestic violence restraining order to protect yourself from abuse and threats of abuse. Contact an experienced Riverside restraining orders attorney to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Michelanne Hrubic can assist you with filing a restraining order and help you navigate other legal issues involved in domestic violence cases, such as divorce and child custody.
Also called a protective order or PFA, a restraining order refers to a court order that a judge issues to protect someone from abuse by requiring that the abuser ceases to contact them and by imposing penalties if they violate the terms of the order, such as jail time, fines, or both.
You can file for a domestic violence restraining order if you have experienced abuse or threats of abuse from an intimate partner or family member. Intimate partners are defined as currently married spouses or registered domestic partners, couples that are divorced or separated, currently or previously involved in a relationship, currently or previously cohabitating, and parents of a child. Family members include anyone related by marriage or blood within the second degree, meaning parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and in-laws. A domestic violence victim 12 years old or older can file a restraining order on their own, but you must file a restraining order on their behalf if under the age of 12.
After the court issues a restraining order, it is entered into a computer system accessible by all law enforcement agencies across the country. When someone has a restraining order against them from another state, it is considered valid and enforceable in California. When the restrained person moves out of California, they are required to contact law enforcement at their new location to inform them of the order.
Restraining orders are available in four primary types, as listed below.
To obtain a domestic violence restraining order, you are not required to prove that you have suffered a physical injury. However, you need to prove that the defendant abused or threatened to abuse you or your minor child and that the alleged abuser is either an intimate partner or a relative of the first or second degree. After you make a statement under penalty of perjury about the alleged abuse, the judge will review your statement to determine whether the case meets the “preponderance of evidence” standard or whether an alleged fact is more likely than not to have occurred. In other words, if after reviewing the evidence, the judge determines that the alleged incident is 51% likely to have occurred, this meets the burden of proof for issuing a restraining order.
Deciding whether to issue a restraining order can be a delicate balancing act, with judges forced to weigh the intrusion of a restraining order on the accused person’s life against the victim’s need for legal protection by the court and physical protection by the police. Temporary restraining orders last only a few weeks but involve situations that can be extremely dangerous. Most judges are motivated to err on the side of caution, meaning they would rather issue a restraining order when it is unnecessary and face an appeal than fail to issue a restraining order when necessary and have this failure result in the injury or death of the victim.
You are not required to pay a fee to file for a domestic violence restraining order in California. Still, you will be expected to pay attorney fees if you hire a restraining order lawyer to represent you during your case.
If you are a survivor of domestic violence, you may be hesitant to report the abuse or unsure about your options for legal recourse. While it may be incredibly difficult and intimidating to confront this issue, extensive research shows that when domestic violence goes unaddressed, it will continue to increase and become more violent over time. The only way to protect yourself and your loved ones from further abuse is to contact a Riverside restraining orders attorney to help you file a restraining order against your abuser. At the Law Offices of Michelanne Hrubic, we are fiercely dedicated to protecting the rights, safety, and well-being of our clients.
We offer compassionate, personalized, hands-on legal counsel to ensure we understand every component of your case, fully explore your options, and achieve the optimal outcome for your family. Contact our team today to protect yourself and your children and create a new life without the constant fear of abuse.
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