Davis Restraining Order Lawyers Representing Northern California

  • Pakpour Banks is based in Davis, CA, and is proudly serving Davis, Woodland, Sacramento, West Sacramento, Vacaville, Dixon, Fairfield, Roseville, Elk Grove, and surrounding areas.
  • Our team has been successfully representing cases in Yolo County, Sacramento County, Solano County, Placer County, Colusa County, El Dorado County, and Yuba County.
domestic violence

Pakpour Banks LLP provides legal services to individuals involved in domestic violence disputes. As experienced Davis restraining order attorneys, we are here to answer your questions about domestic violence and domestic violence restraining orders. Contact our Davis domestic violence restraining orderrestraining order lawyers today.

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence, or what is recently being referred to as “intimate partner violence,” is abuse perpetrated against a spouse, former spouse, or some other intimate partner. The definition also includes other categories of individuals, including children of the parties. (See California Family Code section 6211).

“Abuse” can take many different forms. The primary ones include:

  • intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury;
  • sexual assault; or
  • placing a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another. (See California Family Code section 6203)

Depending on the circumstances involved, abuse also includes “molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, harassing, telephoning, including, but not limited to, making annoying telephone calls as described in Section 653m of the Penal Code, destroying personal property, contacting, either directly or indirectly, by mail or otherwise, coming within a specified distance of, or disturbing the peace of the other party, and, in the discretion of the court, on a showing of good cause, of other named family or household members.” (See California Family Code section 6320(a)).

Domestic violence wreaks not just physical havoc- but emotional havoc that can affect families and family members for generations. Domestic violence by one partner against another not only injures the partner- but the children of the partners. Studies demonstrate time and time again that children exposed to even one, two, or three instances of domestic violence are more likely to face difficulties in school, commit violent crimes, enter the criminal justice system, and commit acts of violence against their own partners.

Effects of Domestic Violence and California Family Law

Domestic violence is not about anger management. Rather, it is about control. One party insists on controlling the other, and when the abuser feels he or she does not have control, a violent outburst ensues. Such outbursts are typically followed by “honeymoon” periods, where the abuser apologizes and promises not to be violent again. The abuser may even blame the victim for inciting the attack.

Because domestic violence is about control, it is inextricably intertwined with family law. Incidents of domestic violence increase when the victim leaves the abuser. This is the most dangerous time for victims of domestic violence. Handling the process of leaving an abusive relationship and obtaining court orders that will help protect you should be done carefully, with attention paid to avoiding as much conflict as possible.

In addition, the California Family Code is designed to protect children from the effects of domestic violence. Therefore, a finding that abuse has occurred will have ramifications on custody, visitation, and support orders.

What Are Domestic Violence Restraining Orders?

The remedy family courts provide is a domestic violence restraining order domestic violence restraining order. Generally, a restraining order is a court order telling someone, typically the abuser, to stop doing something, like contacting the domestic violence victim. Restraining orders come in many different varieties. Some command only “peaceful contact,” while others command “no contact.” 

Anytime an abuser uses coercive control and destroys a family member’s mental or emotional calm, family member may petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the abuser. The court will issue TRO orders within a day of its submission. You can receive a TRO for 18-21 days until the court can schedule a hearing. 

To extend the protective order permanently, you must serve the abuser with a notice of your intent to obtain a restraining order after a hearing. At the hearing, a judge will review the evidence and hear testimony from both parties. If the judge agrees that there is a risk of domestic violence, they can issue a protective order for up to five years.

One final domestic violence protective order you should know about is the emergency protective order (EPO). If a law enforcement officer witnesses domestic violence, they can petition a judge to issue a temporary restraining order. To issue an EPO, a judge must find reasonable grounds to believe the family is in immediate danger of domestic violence and that the EPO can prevent domestic violence from occurring.

What If a Neighbor, Friend, or Roommate Is Harassing Me?

California’s Family Code provides for the restraining orders explained above to stop intimate partner violence. However, California law allows a petitioner to file a civil action to obtain a restraining order against other individuals. The law defines civil harassment as “unlawful violence, a credible threat of violence, or a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person, and that serves no legitimate purpose.” To obtain a civil harassment restraining order, you must show that the abuser’s “course of conduct” would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress and that you actually experienced substantial emotional distress. A civil order can be temporary or permanent after a hearing.

What Happens When Someone Violates a Restraining Order?

Violating a domestic violence restraining order can carry serious consequences under California law. Violating any of the above-mentioned restraining orders is a crime for which the police can arrest you. Plus, the criminal court will likely impose jail time, fines, or both upon the accused. 

Safety First

If your abuser violates a restraining order, call the police immediately. Your safety is of utmost importance.

Criminal Consequences

When someone violates a restraining order, they’re breaking the law and committing a crime. They may face one of two criminal charges. 

Contempt of Court

They can face the charge of criminal contempt of court for violating any restraining order, including the civil harassment restraining orders mentioned above. A conviction for violation of a restraining order under this law is a misdemeanor. Plus, if the person has a prior conviction for violating a restraining order, they can face up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Violation of a Domestic Violence Protective Order

The criminal law has a specific crime and penalty for those who violate a domestic violence protective order. Domestic violence protective orders are protective orders a family court issues when there’s abuse by a family member or someone with an intimate relationship with the survivor. 

In that case, the abuser can be convicted of the crime of violation of a protective order. Violating a protective order is a misdemeanor. The abuser can face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. 

However, if the person violates a domestic violence protective order within seven years of another restraining order violation, the State can charge them with a felony. A felony conviction can carry a prison sentence of up to three years and a $10,000 fine.

Davis Restraining Order Lawyers Pakpour Banks LLP

Survivors of domestic violence should always keep in mind that a restraining order is only as valuable as the paper it’s written on. While the police must arrest the restrained party when they violate it, abusers have been known to gladly violate the order with violent consequences. Therefore, it is always best to have a safety plan in place- in addition to the restraining order.

If you’re facing immediate domestic violence or harassment, you don’t have to fight it alone. The Davis restraining order attorneys at Pakpour Banks LLP are experts in domestic conflict and California family law. When you contact our office, we’ll help you take steps to get away from your abuser. Then, we’ll guide you through the process of obtaining a protective order so you can start putting your life back together.