How Long Does A Domestic Violence Restraining Order Last?
If you are the victim of domestic violence, it’s very important to know what legal options are available to protect you. One of the most common and immediate solutions is called a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, commonly referred to as a “DVRO” by attorneys and courts.
A Domestic Violence Restraining Order can only be issued by a judge, but can be requested by an attorney or, in some cases, a police officer. Additionally, there are three types of restraining order that can be issued, and the length of a DVRO depends on the type.
3 Types Of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
The three types of restraining orders available to victims of domestic violence are:
1) Emergency Protective Order
If a police officer responds to a domestic violence call, the police officer can call a judge (anytime, day or night) and ask for an emergency protective order, which goes into effect immediately.
How long does it last? An emergency protective order can last only five business days or seven calendar days (whichever is shorter). It is supposed to give you time to go to court to ask for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, which lasts longer.
An emergency protective order can make the abuser leave your home, stay away from you, and not see your children, at least on a temporary basis.
2) Temporary Restraining Order
If you are in immediate danger and need protection right away, you and/or your attorney can go to court and ask for a Temporary Restraining Order, which will provide all of the same protections as an emergency protective order.
You can get this temporary order “ex parte”, which means you can get it without your abuser being there. A Temporary Restraining Order is meant to be short-term, and only last until a full court hearing can be held with both parties present.
How long does it last? A temporary restraining order will last for up to fifteen days, or until you have your full court hearing, which is usually within three weeks.
3) Restraining Order After Hearing
After your court hearing a judge can issue you a Restraining Order After Hearing, which is a more comprehensive and long-term type of domestic violence restraining order. This order is designed to keep your abuser from threatening, harassing, or abusing you and/or your children.
How long does it last? A Restraining Order After Hearing can last up to five years. If, after that time, you still believe your abuser poses a threat to you, you can ask the court later to have the order extended for another five years, or permanently.
The court can make this extension if it believes you have a “reasonable” fear that your abuser will threaten, harass, or abuse you again once the first restraining order expires.
Violating A Domestic Violence Restraining Order
Under California law, it is a crime for someone to intentionally and knowingly violate a domestic violence restraining order.
The punishment for violating a restraining order depends on the exact circumstances of the violation, but can include fines, jail time, and payment of victim restitution, among other things.
If an abuser is violating your domestic violence restraining order, call the police immediately. Once you are safe, call your attorney to report the incident.
Domestic Violence Restraining Order Help
Dealing with domestic violence can be a very frightening and traumatic experience. It is not uncommon for victims of domestic violence feel helpless and powerless to stop their abuser.
In many cases, it can be much easier and less stressful to let a competent attorney handle the legal aspects of obtaining a restraining order and helping you with any hearings and court appearances that might be required.
If you need help securing a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, please contact us to discuss how we can help.
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At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.
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