San Jose Restraining Order Lawyer
If you were served with a temporary restraining order in San Jose, California, you could lose certain rights, such as visitation with your children or the ability to live in your home. Additionally, you could face criminal charges if you violate the order’s terms. It’s essential to act fast to defend yourself and minimize the effects of the protective order on your life.
A San Jose restraining order lawyer at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law is here to explain your legal options and prepare an effective defense strategy based on your side of the story. Collectively, we have over 30 years of experience helping accused people throughout Silicon Valley receive the best possible outcomes in their cases.
Contact us at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to set up a free initial consultation with our experienced criminal defense attorneys (408) 217-8818. We’ll discuss the allegations against you and how we can help you throughout the restraining order process.
How Can Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law Help With a Restraining Order in San Jose, CA?
A lawyer isn’t technically required in a California restraining order case. However, it’s wise to retain legal counsel, especially if you have children or live with the person who filed the petition. Additionally, these orders usually accompany domestic violence allegations, meaning you’ll want a knowledgeable attorney on your side.
You should also seek representation if you’ve been accused of violating the terms of a restraining order. This is considered a crime, meaning you can face jail time and fines.
Our San Jose criminal defense lawyers can protect your rights and fight for your best interests. Whether you’ve just been served with the order or have been charged with violating its conditions, you should consider discussing your case with our experienced legal team.
When you hire Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law for help fighting a restraining order, we’ll:
- Evaluate the restraining order and gather exculpatory evidence refuting the allegations
- Work to prevent the temporary restraining order from becoming permanent or have it modified or terminated
- Explain your options and rights throughout the process, ensuring you understand the results of any decisions you make
- Fiercely represent you at all Santa Clara County court hearings, including proceedings alleging that you violated a protective order
Contact our law firm today to speak with a knowledgeable San Jose restraining order attorney during a free, no-obligation consultation.
Overview of Restraining Orders in California
Restraining orders are court orders used to protect people from:
- Abuse, including assault and battery
- Sexual assault and abuse
- Domestic violence
The person requesting the temporary restraining order is called the petitioner (or protected person if the petition is granted). The other party is the respondent (or restrained person if the petition is granted). The protective order may also cover other designated family members or household members.
Restraining orders are usually issued against people who are accused of domestic violence.
Depending on the circumstances, a restraining order can:
- Prevent the restrained person from engaging in certain conduct against the protected person, such as contacting them in any manner or disturbing the peace
- Order the restrained person to maintain a certain distance from the protected person, including their residence and workplace
- Force the restrained person to move out of the protected person’s residence
The type of restraining order will depend on the relationship between the parties, as explained below.
What Types of Restraining Orders Are There in California?
California law recognizes four different types of restraining orders:
- Domestic violence restraining order (DVRO): applies if the parties are married, registered domestic partners, separated, divorced, currently or formerly dating, co-parents, closely related, or cohabitants
- Civil harassment restraining order: applies if the petitioner is being abused, stalked, threatened, or harassed by someone who isn’t covered under a domestic violence restraining order (e.g., neighbor, friend, non-intimate roommate)
- Elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order: applies if the petitioner is at least 65 years old (or between 18 and 64 and has certain disabilities) and was abused, neglected, or deprived of basic needs
- Workplace violence restraining order: applies to an employer who is trying to protect an employee from violence, harassment, stalking, or credible threats at work
An employee cannot request a workplace violence restraining order (the employer must request it), but they can file for a civil harassment restraining order.
How Long Do California Restraining Orders Last?
California restraining orders can last up to five years, but they can be terminated or modified by filing a motion with the court.
The duration of the restraints depends on the order, as follows:
- Emergency protective order (EPO): lasts up to seven days
- Temporary restraining order (TRO): may last up to 21 days but can be extended to 25 days unless otherwise modified
- Permanent restraining order: lasts a maximum of five years
Emergency protective orders are requested by law enforcement officers in domestic violence matters, such as when they respond to a call. If they find evidence of abuse, the police can request an EPO from a judge.
Protected people who need the EPO to last longer can request a temporary restraining order. If the TRO needs to be extended, the protected person can attend a hearing to request a permanent restraining order.
How Does a Prosecutor Prove That Someone Violated a Restraining Order in California?
The prosecution must prove the following elements to convict a defendant (restrained person) of violating the terms of a restraining order:
- The court lawfully issued the protective order;
- The defendant knew of (was aware of) the protective order;
- The defendant was able to follow the protective order’s terms; and
- The defendant willfully or intentionally violated the protective order’s terms.
The prosecuting attorney has the burden of proving these elements beyond a reasonable doubt.
What Are the Potential Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order in California?
A restraining order violation can have devastating consequences for the restrained person. The penalties depend on the type of protective order, whether you’ve violated its terms in the past, and whether the violation caused a physical injury.
- Fines up to $1,000
- Up to one year in jail
- Both fines and jail time
If the violation resulted in physical injury, you could receive:
- Fines up to $2,000
- 30 days to one year in jail
- Both fines and jail time
If it’s a subsequent violation, it could be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, meaning you could face:
- Up to three years in jail or prison
- Fines and jail/prison time
Any of these charges could also include:
- Payments to a battered women’s (or abused elder persons or dependent adults) shelter up to $5,000
- Restitution to the victim
- The requirement to attend counseling
The court will examine various factors when determining the penalties. For example, in addition to your criminal history, they may evaluate the victim’s safety, the probability of future violations, and the progress of your counseling.
Collateral Consequences of a Restraining Order Violation
In addition to court-ordered punishments, you could also face collateral consequences, including:
- Losing your custody and visitation rights with your children
- Issues finding employment
- Inability to go to certain places (e.g., if you’re ordered to stay away from your child’s school)
- The need for a new place to live (e.g., if you’re required to move out)
- Inability to own or carry a firearm
- Negative effects on your immigration status (if applicable)
- Damaged personal and professional reputation
An experienced San Jose criminal defense attorney will help minimize the effects of a restraining order violation and help you move on with your life.
What Defenses Are Available for Violating a Restraining Order in San Jose, CA?
The defenses for violating a restraining order will depend on the circumstances of the violation and may include:
- You were unaware that you were violating the terms or lacked intent (e.g., you didn’t know the protected person was in the grocery store you visited)
- You didn’t know that a protective order was in place (e.g., lack of service of process)
- You were unable to follow the restraining order’s terms
- The protective order was unlawfully issued
- False accusations
We can also raise defenses if you’ve been served with a restraining order. For example, if your partner filed an emergency protective order against you after an argument, we can fight for you and ensure that no further orders are issued. Contact our criminal defense lawyers in San Jose to learn more.
Contact Our San Jose Restraining Order Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Have you been served with a restraining order or accused of violating its terms? If so, you’ll need exceptional legal representation to secure the best possible result in your case.
Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to speak with an experienced San Jose restraining order lawyer regarding your best path forward. We’ll put our three decades of combined experience to work for you as we craft a winning defense plan and protect your rights.
Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation to discuss your restraining order situation.