Restraining orders in California, or "protection orders" as they
are also known, are taken very seriously. Often, they are the result of
a civil or family law matter: they are commonly issued during divorce
and child custody proceedings, where emotions are running high and judgment
is often impaired. As the court must instruct at the time the order is
issued, a violation of a protection order is no longer a civil or family
law matter: it is a crime.
Kinds of Protection Orders & Penalties
In California there are three different kinds of protection orders: Emergency,
temporary, and permanent. These are often issued sequentially, with a
judge determining if an about-to-expire emergency order calls for a temporary
order, or if the end of temporary order should result in a permanent one.
In severe cases, a permanent order may be issued upon first filing if
a judge feels that threat is serious enough. These permanent orders can
last up to three years, but must be scrutinized by the court for possible
Penal Code 273.6 dictates the penalties sentenced to those convicted of
a violation. Many of these offenses are considered misdemeanors, but like
most crimes, the severity of the sentence increases with each repeat violation.
California protection order violation misdemeanor penalties can include:
First offense - up to one year in jail and $1000 in fines
Second offense (within one year) - up to three years in county jail
Second offense (within seven years) - up to one year in jail and $1000 in fines
As you can see, the time window of repeat offenses is also a critical factor.
Please also note that these are only misdemeanor offenses. Incidents of
battery can make these offenses a felony. In some cases, treatment, probation,
and restitution to women's shelters can also result from your violation,
whether it is a felony or misdemeanor.
Call our firm to find out what penalties you might be facing for your protection order
I've been charged—what should I do?
Whether you are being held or have made bail or probation, the most important
factor following a protection order violation is that you do not contact
the person who has the order against you. This will only complicate matters
further and could result in more charges.
If you have been charged with a protection order violation, then it is
imperative that you contact a skilled Riverside criminal defense attorney.
At the Law Offices of Paul Grech, our team is prepared to walk you through
your legal options and make sure that rights are protected.
Call us today to
schedule a case evaluation.