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.
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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 restraining 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. 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, that person may petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO). The court will issue TRO orders within the 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 the 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.

Davis Restraining Order Lawyers Pakpour Banks LLP

Victims 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 he or she has violated 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 to obtain a protective order and start putting your life back together.