If a spouse or family member accuses you of domestic violence, he or she may also request a protective order. You must follow the terms of this order to avoid additional legal consequences.
Understand what to expect if you become the subject of a domestic violence protective order, also called a restraining order, in California.
Terms of a protective order
Types of protective orders in California include:
- Residence exclusion orders, which require you to leave a residence you share with the protected person until the court holds a hearing
- Stay-away orders, which specify a distance you must maintain from the protected person as well as his or her car, school, daycare center, work and home
- Personal conduct orders, which require you to stop actions against the protected person such as disturbing the peace, property destruction, harassment, assault, threats, stalking, battery and unwanted contact
Your romantic partner, spouse or household member can ask the court for a protective order if he or she has experienced or fears harassment, stalking, threats, or abuse.
What to expect with a protective order
If your partner files a protective order in your domestic violence case, the court will grant a temporary order pending a hearing within three to four weeks. You can defend yourself in court and the judge will decide whether to issue a permanent order, which lasts several years, or dismiss the protective order.
Failure to abide by the terms of a protective order can result in criminal charges beyond the original domestic violence charges, including felony charges in some circumstances.