Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders

Obtain protection orders against family members who have committed acts of violence against you or your loved ones

California law imposes both criminal and civil liability for domestic violence, and its domestic violence statutes protect both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

Domestic violence can devastate a family, impacting the victim of the violence as well as those close to him or her. We take allegations of domestic violence very seriously.

If you are married, divorced, separated, co-habitating, dating, or have a child with someone who has abused you or threatened to abuse you, you may apply for a protection order against that person. A person who experiences domestic violence or abuse and is related within a second degree of affinity (a mother or mother-in-law, grandchild or grandchild-in-law, etc.) to the person abusing him or her may also apply for a protection order. Protection orders can be issued in family law, civil, or criminal court.

Protection orders are often called restraining orders and serve as a legal injunction requiring someone to do or refrain from doing certain acts. They can protect a person from being abused, stalked, harassed, or threatened by a family member. The order can protect not only a primary person who is being abused, but also family and household members of the protected person.

The person against whom protection is sought is known as the “restrained person.”

Protection orders also include stay away orders and residence exclusion orders. The former include orders to keep the restrained person a specified distance from you as well as your place of work, your child’s school or daycare, and other places you routinely go. In addition, the court can order the restrained person to cease contact with you, your children or other people in your household; to stop sexually assaulting you; to move out of your house, or to obey orders related to property.

Protection orders for domestic violence can be issued on an ex parte basis -- where only the victim, not the person to be restrained, appears before the judge. In order to obtain the protection order, the victim must file a declaration under oath regarding an act of abuse. A hearing will take place, after which the court will consider issuing a protection order. The protection order may also be sought on an emergency basis from a law enforcement officer when the court is not open. The order will remain in effect for a temporary period, giving a victim the chance to file with the court.

It is a crime to violate a protection order. Someone who does break a restraining order may have to go to jail, pay a fine, or both.

A restrained person not only deals with the direct instructions in the protection order, but may also face collateral consequences related to the order, such as not being able to go to certain places or act in particular ways, not being able to see his or her children, not being able to buy or own a gun, or dealing with immigration consequences.

We understand how painful and difficult the process of obtaining a protection order against a family member can be, from the starting point of making the accusation to any return visits to court to ensure that the restrained person follows the court’s protection order. Brown Dahan family law attorneys are champions for your rights and your safety.

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