If another person or group of people is threatening your safety, the State of California allows you to petition for a protective order. Protective orders can be beneficial but before you begin the petition, it is important that you know what type of protective order is best for you and how the order can help you. The following is a brief overview on the different categories of protective orders offered in California.

Domestic Orders of Protection

Domestic violence is abuse or threats of abuse when the person being abused and the abuser are or have been in an intimate relationship such as the following:

  • Married or registered domestic partners,
  • Divorced or separated,
  • Dating or used to date,
  • Living together or used to live together(more than roommates),
  • Parents together of a child, OR
  • Closely related (parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, in-law).

The domestic violence laws say “abuse” is:

  • Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, intentionally or recklessly;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Making someone reasonably afraid that they or someone else are about to be seriously hurt (like threats or promises to harm someone); OR
  • Behavior like harassing, stalking, threatening, or hitting someone; disturbing someone’s peace; or destroying someone’s personal property.

The physical abuse is not just hitting. Abuse can be kicking, shoving, pushing, pulling hair, throwing things, scaring or following you, or keeping you from freely coming and going. It can even include physical abuse of the family pets. Also, keep in mind that the abuse in domestic violence does not have to be physical. Abuse can be verbal (spoken), emotional, or psychological. You do not have to be physically hit to be abused. Often, abuse takes many forms, and abusers use a combination of tactics to control and have power over the person being abused.

Different Categories of Domestic Violence Protection Orders

When it comes to domestic violence protective orders, there are three general categories of orders:

Emergency Protective Order

An Emergency Protective Order is a type of restraining order that only law enforcement can ask for by calling a judge at any time of of day. So, a police officer that answers a domestic violence call can ask a judge for an emergency protective order at any time of the day or night.

The emergency protective order starts right away and can last up to 7 days. The judge can order the abusive person to leave the home and stay away from the victim and any children for up to a week. That gives the victim of the abuse enough time to go to court to file for a temporary restraining order.

Temporary (Ex-Parte) Protective Order

Based on the severity of your allegations, if a judge believes you need protection, he or she will give you a temporary restraining order. Temporary restraining orders usually last between 20 and 25 days, until the court hearing date.

Protective Order After Hearing

When a person petitions for a protective order, they may or may not receive a temporary order. In any case, a hearing will be set for a protective order after hearing, which can protect a person for up to five (5) years.

What a Protective Order Can Do

It can order someone to:

  • Not contact or go near you, your children, other relatives, or others who live with you;
  • Stay away from your home, work, or your children’s schools;
  • Move out of your house (even if you live together);
  • Not have a gun;
  • Follow child custody and visitation orders;
  • Pay child support;
  • Pay spousal or partner support (if you are married or domestic partners);
  • Stay away from any of your pets;
  • Transfer the rights to a cell phone number and account to the protected person (read more);
  • Pay certain bills;
  • Not make any changes to insurance policies;
  • Not incur large expenses or do anything significant to affect your or the other person’s property if you are married or domestic partners;
  • Release or return certain property; and
  • Complete a 52-week batterer intervention program.

Need a Protective Order in California? Contact the Support of a Skilled Attorney Today

When someone makes you feel unsafe, you should take careful precaution to ensure your wellbeing. No one deserves to feel threatened by another person, and if you or your family feels threatened, consider filing for a protective order. When it comes to domestic abuse, the law is on your side – consider filing a protective order as soon as possible.

At  RM Law Group, LLP. we are committed to helping our clients when they are in need of obtaining a protective order. Our firm sternly believes that when it comes to your safety and the safety of your children, nothing else is more important. If you are considering petitioning the court for a protective order in California, seek the support of an attorney you can trust; obtain the legal support of a qualified family law attorney today.