Having a restraining order against you can be tough, and you may be unsure what to do when you are accused of violating that order. Below, our attorneys explain what happens if you violate a restraining order in Riverside and how to prevent being charged with serious penalties.
What Is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order, sometimes known as a “protective order,” is a legal document that can shield a person from being stalked, harassed, threatened, or physically or sexually abused. The “protected person” is the one who is granted the restraining order, while the “restrained person” is the subject of the restraining order. Other “protected persons,” such as the protected person’s relatives or household members, are occasionally included in restraining orders.
Violating the terms set forth by a restraining order is a crime. California prosecutors must establish each of the following elements in order to convict you of violating a restraining order:
- The court lawfully issued a restraining order against you
- The restraining order was directed at your conduct
- You knew about the restraining order and what it prohibited
- You understood the restraining order
- You intentionally violated the order
Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order
Violation of a restraining order is deemed as contempt of court, or a willful disobedience of a court order. The violation may result in a mark on your criminal record. Additionally, it may result in fines or even a jail sentence. The first violation of a restraining order is prosecuted as a misdemeanor. Violators may receive:
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Up to 1 year in county jail
If the protected person was hurt, you may be arrested and serve no less than 30 days in jail.
Afterwards, each subsequent violation in California within 7 years of the first can be charged as a felony. If convicted of a felony restraining order violation, you may face:
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison
This means that if you violate a restraining order twice in a short time span, you may face heavy fines and jail sentences.
Defenses to Violating a Restraining Order
If you have been accused of violating a restraining order in California, there are a number of legal defenses that you may assert. To come up with an effective defense strategy, you need the advice of a skilled criminal defense attorney in California. Some of the common defenses for violating a restraining order include:
- The court failed to issue a valid restraining order
- The defendant is unaware of an existing restraining order against him
- The restrained person did not intend to violate the terms of the restraining order
Contact Wallin & Klarich Today
If you have been accused of violating a restraining order in Riverside, contact Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible to see how we can help. At Wallin & Klarich, we seek to clear your name and prove your innocence. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys have helped thousands of clients in a wide range of cases involving restraining orders, and we have the skills and resources to help you avoid hefty fines and jail time.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Torrance, West Covina, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you are sure to find an available and convenient attorney near you. Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.