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A restraining order can profoundly impact your life, potentially restricting access to loved ones, requiring the surrender of weapons, and even forcing relocation. These orders, often granted to prevent harassment or abuse, can be particularly challenging if based on false or exaggerated claims. Violating a protective order can lead to criminal charges, underscoring the importance of seeking legal guidance from an experienced San Diego restraining order lawyer as soon as possible.
At Bernal Law, we have many years of experience assisting individuals and families in San Diego to defend against all types of restraining orders and any subsequent violations. Our objective is to safeguard your legal rights and address the potential stigma associated with such orders. We assess each case to devise the most effective strategy, aiming to reduce the order’s impact or challenge its fairness.
Restraining Orders in California
A restraining order, also called a protective order, is a legal directive issued by a court to protect individuals from harm, abuse, or threats. It can be directed towards household members, family, or anyone posing a threat to another’s safety.
These orders serve as preventative measures in situations involving violence, stalking, harassment, and other forms of abuse, and they can be applied in both criminal and civil contexts. In criminal cases, a restraining order restricts movement or actions to prevent harm, while in civil cases, it may prevent contact or actions deemed as a public nuisance. The issuance of a restraining order relies on the petitioner’s sworn testimony, and it’s legally binding only once authorized by a court officer and served to the respondent.
Restraining orders often specify distance restrictions between the involved parties, like maintaining a 250-foot distance. They can also prohibit visits to certain locations and limit contact through various means, including email, texts, and phone calls. Under California Penal Code Section 273.6 PC, penalties for violating a restraining order include a maximum of one year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine for a misdemeanor. A second offense can escalate to a felony, with penalties ranging from 16 months to 3 years in state prison and fines up to $10,000.
What Are the Types of Restraining Orders?
California offers four distinct restraining orders to protect individuals from harm or harassment, including the following:
- Emergency Protective Order (EPO): Issued primarily by law enforcement, an EPO is a short-term order effective for five days. It’s frequently used in domestic violence and other criminal cases.
- Temporary Restraining Order (TRO): This is a civil restraining order, effective for up to three weeks. Common in domestic violence situations, victims can often extend a TRO or convert it into a permanent order lasting up to three years.
- Criminal Protective Order: This order is pursued through the district attorney’s office. It mandates that the accused must have no contact with the victim.
- Civil Harassment Restraining Order: A civil order intended to prevent harassment behaviors such as stalking. This order targets a specific individual causing harassment.
Defending against restraining orders may be complex and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. To understand your legal options, speak with a San Diego restraining order defense lawyer at Bernal Law today.
Responding to a Restraining Order
Restraining orders are intended to protect victims by imposing limits on someone’s actions. However, not all of these orders are justified, and some may stem from baseless claims used for personal gain. If you’re facing a restraining order or charges for violating one, having a skilled criminal defense attorney is crucial for your case. Given the rapid enforcement of restraining orders, selecting the right San Diego restraining order defense lawyer is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
At Bernal Law, we focus on defending those who are unjustly affected by restraining orders or accused of violating them. Our team has the specialized knowledge, resources, and experience needed to effectively handle these complex cases and achieve the best outcomes on your behalf.
We help increase your chances of a favorable outcome in the following ways:
- Challenging the allegations and presenting your perspective to seek the removal of the restraining order.
- Working to modify the order, potentially reducing it to a “no negative contact” order.
- Organizing a hearing to contest the establishment of a permanent restraining order.
- Appealing a restraining order if it was based on false information or issued improperly.
Restraining order attorney Pedro Bernal has almost a decade of previous experience as a prosecutor, which provides him the unique perspective to understand their strategies and defend against them. Do not risk your legal rights by accepting a restraining order without understanding the consequences or working with an unqualified restraining order defense lawyer. We fight for you every step of the way to protect your reputation, future, and freedom.
Speak With a San Diego Restraining Order Lawyer at Bernal Law Today
Unjust restraining orders may have a negative impact on your life and freedoms. At Bernal Law, we help you defend against unwarranted restraining orders with our years of experience and extensive resources. As a former Deputy District Attorney in the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, San Diego restraining order attorney Pedro Bernal prosecuted complex cases, including those dealing with restraining orders and other crimes to jury verdict, and is prepared to fight for you. Our team also speaks Spanish.