Domestic Violence Restraining Orders Attorney in Irvine & OC
Experienced and Skilled Trial Law Firm
Accomplished, Compassionate, and Professional
Our Attorneys have Hundreds of Satisfied Clients and Success Stories
Orange County Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you are looking for information regarding a domestic violence case and your rights, we are here to help. To schedule a no pressure, confidential initial consultation to discuss your options with an experienced attorney at California Family Law Firm, a top domestic violence law firm in Orange County, call us at 949-503-7200 or send us a message in the form at the bottom of the page. California Family Law Firm represents residents of Southern California for legal services in all domestic violence issues, including those related to initial domestic violence orders, child custody, child support, spousal support (alimony), domestic violence modification, and domestic violence enforcement, and all other legal issues related to domestic violence cases. We are experienced in the legal process of domestic violence cases and can guide you through uncontested domestic violence cases, high conflict contested domestic violence actions, and everything in between. How a case proceeds, the amount of time it takes, and the cost depends on not only you, but also the other party. You can discuss all domestic violence issues with your domestic violence attorney during your initial consultation. You will undoubtedly have questions about the process of filing or responding to a Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order, the effect of a Temporary Restraining Order, the circumstances under which a Permanent Restraining Order may be granted, and the consequences of a Permanent Restraining Order being granted. Domestic violence legal proceedings may come at a time of uncertainty and sometimes instability. An experienced domestic violence attorney at our firm will go over every step of your case, from drafting, completing, and filing all required Family Court forms and pleadings, to coordinating service of all required documents, to litigation or settlement of all issues. We will discuss who can request a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO), what domestic violence is defined as, whether a DVRO is a criminal case, the types of orders that can be made in and consequences of a DVRO (both temporary and permanent), the process of obtaining a DVRO, responding to a DVRO, and enforcement of a restraining order.contact us now
Is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order a Criminal Case?
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders are not criminal in nature. They are civil orders that may be obtained by a private party in the state of California. A criminal defense attorney will not be appointed on a party’s behalf if they cannot afford an attorney, no criminal charges are filed solely as a result of this action (although they may be filed separately by the District Attorney), no criminal record will be made, and no jail time will be ordered as a result of this proceeding. There also will not be a jury in your case - the judge alone will decide the outcome. Because this is not a criminal case, the burden of proof is lower than it is in criminal court. You have likely heard the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt” in referring to the criminal court burden of proof. However, in a Domestic Violence Restraining Order case, the burden of proof is much lower. It is called a “preponderance of evidence” and essentially means “more likely than not.” This means that if the judge believes the evidence supports one party even the slightest bit more than the other, they will side with that party, either granting or denying the restraining order Request. This is why an experienced domestic violence attorney is vital to your case.
Hiring the Right Domestic Violence Attorney for You
It is extremely important to choose the best representation possible when you a domestic violence restraining order is at issue in your case. Your domestic violence lawyer will discuss all steps in the domestic violence restraining order process, explain strategy options, prepare you for any hearings, fully represent you in any legal proceedings, and answer any questions you may have along the way, tailoring the case strategy to your unique situation and providing you the strong legal representation you deserve.contact us now
The Types of Orders that Can be Made in and Consequences of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
When someone applies for a Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order, they will either be issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or not. If a TRO is issued, the protected party will receive a copy of the order from the Court and then the restrained party must be served with that TRO (usually by the Sheriff’s Department). The TRO is not effective upon the restrained party until they are served with the TRO. Within the TRO, the judge can order the restrained party: (1) To turn in guns they may own or possess to a licensed dealer or law enforcement; (2) To not look for the protected party and to not abuse (same definition as above) the protected party; (3) To not contact the protected party either directly or indirectly (through a third party) by any means; (4) To stay at least 100 yards away from the protected party, and the protected party’s home, school, vehicle, workplace, or children’s school/childcare; (5) To move out of the residence they share with the protected party; (6) To have only certain limited child custody, including set visitation days and hours they may spend with the child or children, potentially being watched over by a professional supervisor; (7) To stay away from any household animals or pets, and to not sell or transfer such animals; (8) To be excluded from possession, use, or control of certain property; (9) To not borrow, cancel, or transfer insurance that could be used by the protected party; (10) To be recorded without consent or notice by the protected party; (11) To pay certain debts, such as mortgage, phone, or vehicle payments; (12) Any other orders the Court may find good cause to make, although not orders for child support, spousal support (alimony), or attorney’s fees and costs at this time. Violations of any orders made in the TRO may be classified as an additional allegation of domestic violence by the restrained party, so it is important to pay close attention to exactly what has been ordered in your case. These orders can be made in favor of not only the restrained party, but also in favor of any family members in their household whom are listed on the Request. However, the Court does not have to include those family members on the TRO. Additionally, the Court may make exceptions to the No Contact Orders and the Stay Away Orders for “brief and peaceful contact” for the purpose of child custody exchanges. After the initial paperwork is filed, whether a TRO is issued by the Court or not, a hearing will be scheduled to determine if the Court should issue a Restraining Order After Hearing, also called a Permanent Restraining Order. The word “Permanent” is misleading however, because these types of orders can only be issued for up to 5 years, although they can be issued for less time and often are, and are potentially renewable. After a hearing, if the Court decides to issue a Restraining Order After Hearing, the judge can make all of the orders listed above for a TRO, in addition for the restrained party to: (1) Pay child support; (2) Pay spousal support (alimony) if the parties are married; (3) Pay the attorney’s fees and costs of the protected party; (4) Pay any expenses associated with the abuse, such as hotel or moving expenses; (5) Transfer a phone account to the name of the protected party; (6) Attend a 52 week long batterer’s intervention program in a Court approved class; (7) Attend other classes as necessary, such as classes for parenting, co-parenting, or anger management; (8) Undergo drug testing as part of child custody orders. All parties should also be aware that attorney’s fees and costs may be awarded against the party requesting the restraining order under Family Code section 6344, if the restrained party wins the hearing or the restraining order Request is dropped. Family Code section 3044 states that when there is a finding of domestic violence in the past five years against a party, that there is a presumption against awarding that party sole or joint custody of a child. Because this is a presumption, it can be overcome, but this can be a complicated process. These findings make a huge impact on future child custody orders, so it is vital that parties hire an experienced domestic violence attorney at the earliest opportunity possible. Domestic Violence Restraining Orders are public record, and one consideration is that family members, employers, and other members of the public may read or hear about the accusations made in the Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order, the orders made in a TRO, or the orders made in a Restraining Order After Hearing. A person may have to disclose a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in a background check for a professional license, job application, or background check, and it could be used against a person in future legal proceedings. A person with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order against them may also lose their current employment. There are many far reaching ramifications to all stages of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders.
Obtaining a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
If you are a victim of domestic violence and in immediate danger, you should call 9-1-1 for prompt assistance. Once you and any family members are in a safe location, you may start planning the next steps by contacting a domestic violence lawyer. Law enforcement may have given you an Emergency Protection Order (EPO). If an EPO is issued in your case, it is important to notify your attorney when you speak with them as it will be relevant to your case. If an EPO was not issued, do not worry because Domestic Violence Restraining Orders may still obtained without one, and many in fact are issued without one. It is also vital to know that EPO’s generally only last a few days, so you should contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. When you speak with a domestic violence attorney, they will go over all of the facts of your case, including recent abuse, prior relationship history, whether any abuse was committed against other household members, whether children witnessed abuse against you, and what kinds of orders you are requesting. The attorney will prepare all Court forms necessary to file with the Court, as well as a declaration from you after processing all of the facts of your case. You will have the ultimate say over what is or what is not included in this declaration, after considering the advice of your attorney. When everything is submitted to the Court, the judge whom is assigned your case will decide whether or not to issue a Temporary Restraining Order. If a Temporary Restraining Order is granted, Family Code section 242 requires that the judge set a hearing to determine whether a Permanent DVRO shall be granted within 21 days, or 25 days if the Court finds good cause. If the TRO is denied, Family Code section 6320.5 still requires a hearing set within the same time frame. Even if the abuse has not occurred recently by the time you are able to file your Request, Family Code section 6301 requires that the Court consider the totality of the circumstances (the whole picture) in deciding whether or not to grant you a restraining order. There are many cases where a history of abuse can be demonstrated to the Court and a restraining order will be issued despite no abuse occurring in a recent period of time. Finally, it is important to emphasize that a Temporary Restraining Order is not in effect protecting you until it has been served upon the restrained party, by any person that is not the requesting party. Our office will work diligently to ensure that the TRO is served as soon as possible after it is issued, and to formulate a plan to protect you both before and after the TRO is served. While this may be an uncertain and intimidating process, an experienced domestic violence lawyer at California Family Law Firm will be there to walk you through the entire process, answer any questions, and provide representation at any hearings.
Responding to a Request for Domestic Violence Restraining Order
If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is extremely important to secure strong, experienced legal representation as soon as possible. If orders have already been made against you, then you will be advised of what those orders are after your attorney has had a chance to review the TRO. If orders have not yet been issued against you, then your attorney will discuss strategy options with you and formulate a plan for your case. Because the first hearing will be fast approaching, in only a few weeks from when the Request was filed, we will work with you to determine whether a continuance should be requested. You are automatically entitled to at least one continuance under Family Code section 245. This extra time allows for sufficient preparation of your case, including developing litigation strategy, subpoenaing witnesses or documents relevant to your case, and negotiating with the other party for a resolution to your case. If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is extremely important to stay focused on what accusations have been made, and how those accusations will be defended against. Your attorney will go over the exact allegations with you in preparing a Response to be filed with the Court. Your attorney will also prepare all forms necessary to file with the Court, as well as a declaration from you after responding to all of the allegations in your case. You will have the ultimate say over what is or what is not included in this declaration, after considering the advice of your attorney. The burden is on the party requesting the restraining order to prove their case. However, as discussed above, the standard of evidence is lower than in a criminal case. While you are not required to testify, unlike in criminal court, if you do not testify the judge may choose to hold that against you in making their decision. Your attorney will work with you and advise you whether you should testify in your case, as well as prepare you for any questioning by your own attorney and for cross-examination by an attorney representing the other party. While a Temporary Restraining Order is not in effect against you until it has been served upon you, you should proceed as if it were in effect as soon as you have knowledge of it. You want to stay ahead of any further allegations, and avoiding contact with the other party is a great step towards that. If criminal charges are pending against you, we will likely advise you to request a continuance of the Domestic Violence Restraining Order legal proceedings in our case, and the Court will likely grant a continuance, while criminal charges are pending. There are several potential defenses against untrue allegations of domestic violence, including self-defense, that the conduct alleged did not occur, or that the conduct alleged is not against the law. We will work with you to form a defense strategy specific to your case. Finally, we may be able to negotiate dismissal of the domestic violence action against you. In many cases, if we can determine the ultimate goal of the party who filed the allegations against you, we can reach a negotiated resolution. However, even in such a scenario, knowledgeable legal representation is important as you want a written agreement that fully dismisses the allegations against you and ensures all legally required language is included in the agreement. Our office will work diligently with you to ensure to formulate a defense plan. While this may be an uncertain and anxious process, an experienced domestic violence lawyer at California Family Law Firm will be there to walk you through the entire process, answer any questions, and provide representation at any hearings.
Enforcing a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
If you are in immediate danger or you believe the restrained party has violated their restraining order, whether a Temporary or Permanent order, contact law enforcement immediately by calling 9-1-1. When any restraining order is issued, it will be entered into the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS), so that law enforcement should have it immediately available to them at all times. When a restraining order is violated, if law enforcement immediately responds then they may arrest the violating party. Even if law enforcement does not respond, depending on the evidence supporting the violation, such as if it is caught on camera, the District Attorney may later decide to press charges. Alternatively, the protected party may elect to enforce their restraining order in civil court via a contempt action. A contempt action is where one party alleges that the other has violated a valid court order, and can result in fines, community service, and even jail time. An experienced domestic violence attorney at our firm can walk you through your specific case circumstances, prepare all necessary Court pleadings, and provide the strong representation needed to give your case the best chance of success in the case of any Domestic Violence Restraining Order enforcement action.
Contact Our Experienced Irvine Domestic Violence Attorneys Today
At California Family Law Firm, we have the years of experience required to successfully litigate your case. Our law office will help guide you through the often overwhelming legal process of a domestic violence case to help achieve the orders and results that are uniquely tailored to your and your children’s best interests. We do this through a cost-effective strategy of addressing the most immediate legal issues in your case first, and then methodically working with you through each remaining step of your case. If you are looking for a domestic violence attorney that can strongly represent your interests and protect your rights, who will help you fight back when needed but also be a voice of reason, who will be fully prepared for your Family Court hearings and trial, look no further than a domestic violence lawyer at California Family Law Firm. Our law office is conveniently located in Irvine, although we serve those located throughout Orange County in Irvine, Newport Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Fullerton, Orange, Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, Westminster, Lake Forest, Buena Park, Tustin, Yorba Linda, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente, La Habra, Fountain Valley, Aliso Viejo, Placentia, Cypress, Rancho Santa Margarita, Brea, Stanton, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Seal Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Villa Park, Anaheim Hills, and all surrounding areas. We also serve those in Los Angeles County, and Riverside County. Strong legal representation near you is not only important, but vital to your case. We are available to schedule a no pressure, confidential initial consultation to discuss your options. Call us at 949-503-7200 or send us a message in the form below to set up your consultation with an experienced family law domestic violence attorney at California Family Law Firm. Disclaimer: The information above does not establish an attorney-client relationship and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice. There are many factors that might influence or change advice specific to your case following a consultation. Contact California Family Law Firm at 949-503-7200 to speak with an Irvine experienced family law attorney in order to obtain legal advice specific to your individual case.
We Also Offer the Following Services:
Who can Request a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?
Pursuant to Family Code section 6211, a Domestic Violence Restraining Order may be requested by you or against you by the following people: (a) A spouse or former spouse; (b) A cohabitant or former cohabitant (generally a household member closer than a roommate); (c) A person with whom you are or were in dating relationship with; (d) A person with whom you have a child with; (e) A child of yours; (f) A person closely related to you, such as a mother, father, child, brother, sister, grandparent, or in-law. The domestic violence must have occurred within the county the orders are being requested within, or where the party who is alleged to have committed the domestic violence is residing.
What is Domestic Violence?
The state of California defines domestic violence as abuse committed by any of the persons in the section above. In Family Code section 6203, California law defines abuse, which includes: (1) To intentionally or recklessly cause or attempt to cause bodily injury; (2) Sexual assault; (3) To place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another; (4) Attacking, striking, stalking or threatening; (5) Impersonating someone online or in person; (6) Harassing someone by phone, mail, electronic communication, or in person; (7) Destroying personal property of someone; (8) Disturbing the peace of someone, which, based on the totality of the circumstances, destroys the mental or emotional calm of someone. The above is not a complete list of behavior that could result in a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. Section 6203 also specifically states that abuse is not limited to the actual infliction of physical injury or assault. This means abuse includes types such as emotional abuse, psychological abuse, and financial abuse. An act of domestic violence could include not only intimate partner violence, but also child abuse, family violence, or even a member of the family witnessing abuse against someone or something else, such as abuse against a child’s sibling or parent, or against a family pet. Domestic abuse is intentionally broadly defined by California law. An experienced domestic violence attorney at our firm can fully analyze the circumstances of your specific case to determine if the actions meet the definition under California law.
Obtaining a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
If you are a victim of domestic violence and in immediate danger, you should call 9-1-1 for prompt assistance. Once you and any family members are in a safe location, you may start planning the next steps by contacting a domestic violence lawyer. Law enforcement may have given you an Emergency Protection Order (EPO). If an EPO is issued in your case, it is important to notify your attorney when you speak with them as that will be relevant to your case. If not, do not worry because Domestic Violence Restraining Orders may still obtained without one, and many in fact are issued without one. It is also vital to know that EPO’s generally only last a few days, so you should contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible.
Process of filing and granting of TRO
When a Temporary Restraining Order is granted, Family Code section 242 requires that the judge set a hearing to determine whether a Permanent DVRO shall be granted within 21 days, or 25 days if the Court finds good cause. If the TRO is denied, Family Code section 6320.5 still requires a hearing set within the same time frame. Even if the most recent act of abuse happened some time ago, the length of time between the most recent act of abuse and the date you filed your petition should not be the determining factor that a judge uses to determine if you can get an order. The judge is supposed to consider the totality of the circumstances (the “whole picture”) in determining whether or not to grant you a DVRO. - FC 6301(c) It is important to note that Temporary Restraining Order is not in effect protecting you until it has been served upon the restrained party, by any person that is not the requesting party
Family Law Case Testimonials
1) Following brutal domestic violence against a minor child, an attorney at our firm won a trial for a permanent domestic violence restraining order in favor of the mother. 2) An attorney at California Family Law Firm negotiated a quick settlement following the filing of a domestic violence restraining order where the other party had the sole household earning ability and the client was a stay at home parent. A strongly worded letter was necessary to gain a written agreement on the matter and save all parties time and attorney's fees litigating the issue. 3) A father who was falsely accused of domestic violence hired an attorney with our firm to defend him against the allegations. After a trial with numerous witnesses and recordings, our client was cleared of all wrong doing. 4) An unmarried mother in a domestic violence situation sought our office’s assistance in determining the rights of her children’s alleged father. We successfully assisted her in placing her and the children in a safe location and gaining the custody rights she sought.
5) We have negotiated successful dismissal of numerous cases of restraining order requests against those accused of domestic violence by the other parent in order to gain the upper hand for child custody or spousal support purposes with false accusations. 6) We have also successfully proven domestic violence allegations in Court on behalf of our clients who have suffered abuse for years, months, or even just a single event of abuse. 7) At California Family Law Firm, our attorneys have litigated virtually every aspect of domestic violence restraining orders and realized success on every type of issue, from quick settlement to litigating heavily contested domestic violence matters.
contact us for legal help
Strong legal representation near you is not only important, but vital to your case. We are available to schedule a no pressure, confidential initial consultation to discuss your options by either phone, video, or in person.949-503-7200 19200 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 454
Irvine, CA 92612.