Unfortunately, domestic violence and child abuse are common crimes in California, and they bring many people to our door who are seeking to file a restraining order and gain legal protection from their abuser. While we wish that this crime wasn’t so prevalent, the countless number of clients who have come to us, for this reason, have given our attorneys immense practice in handling these cases in court. Over the years, our lawyers have honed their skills and learned the exact tactics that secure the necessary protection for their clients. Since restraining orders can impose severe restrictions against an individual (and often rightly so), the judge will always skeptically scrutinize the reasoning behind the request. This can make it can be difficult to prove that the order is necessary. The judge will press you, and since your circumstances have already caused you immense stress, it can be difficult to organize your thoughts and provide sound arguments under this pressure. However, we founded this firm on the belief that every family deserves to live a safe, fulfilling life, and we will not back down when fighting for this belief. Thus, we will ardently and passionately strive to protect you and your children, no matter the strength of the opposition.
There are several circumstances that call for a restraining order to be put into place. The most common is domestic violence. If you or your children are experienced abuse by someone who lives with you, you have every right to request a domestic violence restraining order. Depending on the nature of the crime, this order can force your abuser to move out of the house, keep them from going near your place of work or your children’s schools, ensure that they cannot contact you, prevent them from purchasing a weapon, or impose additional restrictions as the judge deems necessary. In order to request a domestic violence restraining order, you must be experiencing abuse at the hands of your spouse, partner, or close relative. The abuse need not be physical nor does a crime have to be committed for you to request protection. Domestic violence can be threats of abuse, verbal or emotional abuse, harassment, abusing a loved one as a means of controlling you, or other actions that are designed to harm or manipulate you. The exact criteria of domestic violence restraining orders are much more in-depth than this, and we recommend that you call our firm for more information or visit the California Courts website on Domestic Violence.
Of course, domestic violence is not the only crime that necessitates a restraining order. Many people experience abuse or harassment outside of romantic relationships or from someone to whom they are not closely related. Abuse from a roommate, friend, or more distant family member will call for a civil harassment restraining order, which can impose similar limitations as the domestic violence order but with a different context. These, unfortunately, are often more difficult to prove because the court will require much more evidence. However, we know that these crimes can be just as debilitating as those of domestic violence, and firmly believe that you have the right to live your life free from threats of harm.
There are also restraining orders that are designed to protect elders or disabled adults from abusers. These are designed to protect individuals over the age of 65 (or adults of any age who are dependent on the aide of others) from neglect or abuse. They can be filed either by the adult themselves, a caregiver, or an attorney. For more information on this specific type of restraining order, please call our office at no cost to you.
Whatever your circumstance may be, there are several levels of protection that can be put in place both immediately and long-term, each of which demands different types and amounts of evidence. There are Emergency Protective Orders (EPO), which are put in place by a police officer and a judge in after a crime has been committed or there has been a serious threat of a crime. These typically do not require much evidence, as they are designed for immediate and short-term protection. There are Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO), which can be put in place while you are waiting for the final verdict on the permanent restraining order. These, again, do not typically demand as much evidence, but it depends on the situation. And, lastly, there are permanent restraining orders that last for several years after they are issued (depending on whether they are domestic violence or civil harassment orders). This level of restraining order is the most difficult to put into place and requires substantial evidence. If you fear retaliation at the hands of your abuser for filing for a permanent restraining order, please call our office for more information on how to acquire immediate protection.
However, if you are in danger right now, please contact law enforcement in your area. If you feel unsafe calling our office, you can contact us via our online contact form and request that we contact you at your place of work, through a friend, or in another way that will keep you safe. If you are afraid that your abuser/harasser might find out that you looked up information about restraining orders, please remember to delete your browsing history. We want to make sure you are safe, first and foremost, and will vigilantly fight for your legal protection. You do not need an attorney to file a restraining order. However, protecting yourself and your children is not an area where you can afford to take risks, and proving that a restraining order is necessary can be difficult, especially if your abuser is fighting against you. We know that these criminals try to threaten and confuse you in order to keep you from taking legal action against them. We will be firm, vigilant, and unphased by these attempts, providing you with a source of hope, clarity, and compassion.