What are the Different Types of Restraining Orders?

A restraining order is an order signed by a Judge in Court that restrains or prevents someone from contacting another individual. Contact can include physical contact, contact by phone, mail, email, text message, social media, through a third party, etc… Any form of contact pretty much can be prohibited.

These are the different types of restraining orders that a person can get in Orange County, CA (as listed at occourts.org):

 

What is the difference between a criminal restraining order and a civil restraining order?

A civil harassment restraining order can be requested by someone by filling out the proper forms in Court and asking a Judge to issue a restraining order against someone they believe is harassing them. Once the Judge reviews the documents and proofs submitted to the Court, they will schedule a hearing where the parties can testify and present witnesses. If you are requesting the restraining order, you must also serve the other party with the request for the restraining order so that they are aware of your request and informed of the hearing date where they can come contest it if they chose to. If they do not show up, the Judge will likely grant your request for a restraining order. A civil restraining order can be temporary or permanent. It can last from just a few weeks to up to 5 years.

A criminal restraining order is usually issued when there is a criminal investigation. An emergency restraining order can be issued immediately by the police if they believe it is necessary. A criminal restraining order can also be temporary or permanent. It can last from just a few weeks to up to 5 years. Examples of criminal restraining orders that are issued are: 1) if you get into a fight and hurt someone else, a criminal investigation might be opened on you and criminal charges such as assault or battery filed against you. In those type of cases, the District Attorney will usually want a restraining order for you to stay away from the victim and have no contact with them during the course of your case in Court as well as after your case concludes. Another example of a criminal restraining order is in a domestic violence case. If the police conduct a domestic violence investigation and believe you should be arrested for domestic violence charges, they will likely issue an emergency protective order immediately. Then the District Attorney will issue a domestic violence restraining order against you in Court which prevents you from contacting the victim.

Criminal Restraining Order

How can I get a criminal restraining order?

In order to get a criminal restraining order, a crime must have occurred and you must report that crime to the police so they can do a criminal investigation, write a police report, and forward that information to the District Attorney to decide if they are going to prosecute the other party.

Who can I get a criminal restraining order against?

If you are a victim of a crime and you have reported your situation to the police, they will either issue you an emergency protective order against the other party who has harmed you immediately if they believe it is necessary for your protection or the District Attorney will request one from the Judge when the other party is charged with a crime and comes to Court.

What would the restraining order say?

A criminal restraining order usually states who the protected party is, who the restraining order restrains, and what forms of contact they can have or not have. For example, a typical restraining order will prevent someone from contacting the other person through any form – this includes in person, by mail, by phone, by text, by email, by social media, through someone else, etc… It will usually include a stay away order that says “stay 100 yards away” from the other party, their job, their school, their home, their car, etc… It will also state the restrained party is not to own or possess any firearms or guns.

How long would a criminal restraining order last?

Typically, a criminal restraining order lasts as long as the person accused of a crime is on probation. For a misdemeanor, this is usually 3 years. For a felony, this is usually 3-5 years. However, the District Attorney can request a restraining order to last much longer from the Judge if the facts show the victim is in fear of the person being restrained. The Judge has discretion on how long to order a restraining order for.

What if someone is trying to get one against me. What can I do?

You should have a good criminal defense attorney to defend you and prevent a restraining order from being issued against you. A restraining order can limit your freedom and does not look good on your record. Your attorney will need to defend you and contest the other party’s allegations so that a final permanent restraining order is not ordered against you. In a criminal case, your attorney will need to persuade the District Attorney and/or the Judge not to order the restraining order against you by stating facts and defenses that show it is unnecessary.

Civil Restraining Order

How can I get a civil restraining order?

A civil harassment restraining order can be requested at Court. Depending on what type of restraining order you are requesting, you will need to go to the Court that handles those types of restraining orders.

Who can I get a civil restraining order against?

See the above list of the different types of restraining orders.

What would the restraining order say?

It would say pretty much the same thing a criminal restraining order would say.

How long would a civil restraining order last?

A temporary civil restraining order can last for just a few weeks. A permanent civil restraining order can last up to 5 years.

What if someone is trying to get one against me. What can I do?

You need a good defense attorney that can defend you and prevent a restraining order from being issued against you. By the time you have received something from the Court to attend the civil restraining order hearing, the other party requesting the restraining order has already filed their documents and application for a restraining order explaining why they believe they need one against you. A temporary restraining order may already have been granted until the hearing date. You will need to file a response to their request and defend yourself against the other party’s allegations. You will also want to attend the hearing with an attorney to fight for you and prevent the final and permanent civil restraining order from being granted against you.

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