Restraining Order Lawyer in Orange County, CA, Protecting Our Clients and Their Rights
Some of the most difficult cases in family court involve issues of domestic violence. Very often, the real victims are the children who witness fighting in the home—even if the fighting is not physical in nature. When fights escalate beyond a certain point, though, a domestic violence restraining order may become necessary. An emergency protective order can serve as a stopgap prior to a full restraining order taking effect. If you feel like you’re in danger, this is absolutely the best option. Of course, some individuals become victimized in a different way: false accusations that lead to restraining orders.
Attorney Patrick O’Kennedy has represented both victims and the falsely accused in court. He understands that immediate protection is often necessary to safeguard an individual, but when someone is falsely accused, they deserve legal assistance as well. If you find yourself in either of these situations, our law firm provides free initial consultations to help you better understand your rights. Restraining orders are all about control—regardless of whether someone is falsely accused or worried for their safety because of a controlling ex. With legal representation on your side, you’ll have an advocate fighting for your rights.
What Is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order—also known as a protective order in California—is a court order that protects an individual from being harassed, stalked, threatened, or abused in either a physical or sexual manner. A domestic violence restraining order is meant to protect both current and former husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, and other relatives from a “restrained person.” The individual who takes out the court order is known as the “protected person.”
A civil harassment restraining order is very similar, but it protects individuals who are not family members of the restrained person. Factors involved in domestic violence orders often arise out of control issues that parties have towards each other. Either one party seeks to control the other through violence, or one seeks to gain control in a divorce or child custody proceeding by making false accusations. Where children are involved, the issues become that much more serious.
Without children, problems can usually be resolved by separating the parties and letting things cool down while other issues are settled peacefully. California also allows individuals to file for a workplace violence restraining order and an elder or dependent adult restraining order. Any of these four orders can exclude a person from a residence, order them to stay away from the protected person, or mandate the end of specific acts.
Permanent vs Temporary Restraining Order—What’s the Difference?
A restraining order can give legal protections to adults and children—keeping harassers and domestic violence offenders away from their homes, places of work, or schools. Such orders can also include other family members who feel threatened. There are several types of orders, though, and it’s important to understand each.
Emergency protective orders can go into effect immediately. For instance, a police officer responding to a call can request a judge immediately issue this order even if criminal charges are not filed. These can last up to seven days. A temporary restraining order (TRO) requires a court hearing, but if the judge signs off, such orders typically last around three weeks until a court hearing for a permanent restraining order can be held.
A permanent restraining order can be issued after a court hearing, but they’re not really “permanent.” They actually last up to five years, but they can also be renewed prior to expiring. However, these are very serious orders. It’s not enough for law enforcement to simply believe that violence may be occurring. You’ll need to prove that you’re in fear of bodily injury, being sexually assaulted, being mentally hurt, or facing other dangers. An experienced attorney can help you in such a hearing.
Can I File a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?
California courts strive to protect domestic violence victims. Unfortunately, statistics also show that up to one-third of violence accusations during child custody cases are unfounded. This is a tragedy for actual victims—because it typically puts the burden of proof on them. Fortunately, victims can file a restraining order against someone they have or have had a domestic relationship with if they’re experiencing the following:
- Harassment, including harassment by phone, text messages, or email
- Threats to injure a party or pet
- Hitting, choking, or slapping
- Financial abuse
- Stalking or keeping under surveillance
Unfortunately, some people use accusations of domestic violence to gain the upper hand in property or custody disputes while going through a divorce. If you need protection from a violent partner—or if you are accused of domestic violence—you should not go to court without a capable attorney who understands the law.
Attorney Patrick O’Kennedy takes pride in being able to resolve even the most difficult cases through negotiation or, if necessary, through litigation and expert representation. Whether you need a domestic violence or civil harassment restraining order—or need to know how to minimize the effect of false accusations during divorce proceedings—we offer free consultations to those who need to better understand their rights.
Get Help With a Restraining Order in Orange County, CA Today
California takes harassment and domestic violence very seriously. This is why victims can file restraining orders with minimal hurdles. If you’re concerned about your safety due to the actions of another individual, you may be able to become a protected person under the law. Unfortunately, the ease with which restraining orders can be received also creates an opportunity for false accusations. If you’re in either of these situations, seeking legal help before filing or prior to a court hearing is advisable. Whether you’re filing for a domestic violence or civil harassment restraining order, you need to make sure your case is ready prior to it going before a judge.
At the Law Office of Patrick O’Kennedy, we understand just how difficult these situations can be. If you’re seeking a temporary or permanent restraining order—or if you’re subject to a court order based on false information—waiting can only hurt your case. And in some instances, such procrastination can put you at risk of undue harm or even result in you losing child custody and other rights. Contact us today by calling (714) 919-1855 to schedule a free consultation. If you need a restraining order in Orange County, CA, an experienced family law attorney can help you better understand your rights, obligations, and options moving forward.