Domestic Violence Attorneys in San Luis Obispo, CA
Domestic violence is when a person abuses or threatens to harm another person that he is or has been in an intimate relationship with. This spans people who are married, divorced, registered domestic partners, people who used to date or are dating, people living or have lived together, and people who have a child together. It is also considered domestic abuse if both parties are closely related by blood.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and are in imminent danger, call 911 immediately to request police assistance. You could also contact a California domestic violence organization or the national domestic violence hotline. For legal support, get in touch with one of our California domestic violence attorneys.
What Counts as Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is commonly thought to involve only physical violence such as hitting and shoving, but domestic violence also includes other violent acts that can be verbal, psychological, and emotional. In fact, abusers usually use many forms of abuse to control a person and exert their power and control over the person being abused.
According to domestic violence law, domestic abuse can involve:
- Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, intentionally or recklessly,
- Destroying someone’s property,
- Disturbing someone’s peace,
- Threatening a person that he/she or someone else will be seriously hurt,
- Sexual assault/sexual violence.
Physical abuse is not only limited to hitting, as it can also be in the form of shoving, kicking, pulling hair, and throwing things, as well as following you or physically incapacitating you from coming and going. Physical abuse can also mean threatening you with harming others including children you may have or your pets.
If your spouse exhibits any form of spousal abuse, child abuse, domestic battery or assault, talk to our San Luis Obispo domestic violence lawyers here at 805 Family Law who can help you navigate the laws in place to protect you or a family member from your abusive relationship, the most common form being filing a domestic violence restraining order.
DV Restraining Orders
Domestic violence restraining orders protect domestic violence victims by issuing a court order that limits the interaction between the filer and the person the restraining order was filed against. Domestic violence restraining orders may be requested if you:
- Have been abused or threatened to be abused by someone,
- You have a relationship with that person by means of:
- Blood relation (parent, child, sibling, grandparent, in-law),
- Cohabitation or living together, or having lived together in the past,
- Dating, or used to be dating,
- Domestic partnership,
- Being former spouses and eventually divorcing.
If both these are true to you, you can file a domestic violence restraining order to protect yourself. Additionally, you can also file this to protect your child, a loved-one, or other family members who are victims of domestic violence. Children 12 years old and older can also file restraining orders for themselves.
If you do not qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, there are other types of restraining orders that you can ask for such as workplace violence restraining orders (filed by an employer for an employee), elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order (for abuse victims aged 65 or older or people with a dependent adult), and civil harassment restraining orders (for neighbors, roommates, colleagues, distant relatives).
Each of these restraining orders has its own set of qualifications and parameters. To get legal help in knowing these different types of restraining orders, talk to one of our family lawyers in San Luis Obispo, CA today.
What Restraining Orders Can Do
A restraining order does not only “restrain” or keep a person a certain distance away from the filer, it can actually order a person to do much more than that, including ordering them to:
- Not contact you;
- Not come near you, your children, your other relatives, or anyone who lives with you;
- Complete a 52-week batterer intervention program;
- Return or release certain property;
- Not incur large expenses or do anything significant to affect your or the other person’s property if you are married or domestic partners;
- Not make any changes to your insurance policies;
- Pay certain bills;
- Transfer the rights of a cell phone number and account to the protected person
- Stay away from your pets;
- Give alimony or pay spousal or partner support;
- Pay child support;
- Follow child custody and visitation orders;
- Not have a gun;
- Move out of the house (even if you were cohabiting);
- Stay away from your home or work;
- Stay away from your childrens’ schools;
Once a restraining order is issued by the court, the restrained person will be legally obligated to follow the limits established by the restraining order. Some of the effects of being restrained include:
- Having to turn in, store, or sell any guns and other firearms that he or she has,
- Not being able to own or buy a gun,
- Not being able to see his or her children,
- Having to move out of his or her home,
- Not being able to go to certain places or do certain things,
- Having his or her immigration status restricted.
These orders are inputted into the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) which allows law enforcement officers within the state of California to have access to the order. Furthermore, any restraining orders carried out in the state are valid anywhere in the US. You should just inform the local police officers so that they are informed of your restraining orders.
The inverse is also true — if you have a restraining order issued from another state, it is valid and enforceable throughout the state of California.
Additionally, you can have your restraining order inputted into the CLETS database by filling out a Form DV-600 (Order to Register Out-of-State or Tribal Court Protective/Restraining Order (CLETS)). This ensures that all police officers will be informed that you are moving into the state and have orders to be protected.
What Restraining Orders Cannot Do
Restraining orders are not able to:
- Establish parentage except in cases where you and the restrained person agree on the parentage of your child or children and agree to allow the court to make a judgement regarding parentage,
- End marriages and domestic partnerships (this can be only done through filing for divorce).
You can also schedule a meeting with our San Luis Obispo family law attorneys if you have any questions about California family law and the legal procedures involved.
Types of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
Criminal Protective Order (Stay-Away Order)
When there are domestic violence cases, the district attorney will investigate and file criminal charges against the defendant. While the investigation and case is ongoing, the criminal court commonly files a criminal protective order or stay-away order against the alleged abuser to protect the victim.
This restraining order is active while the domestic violence case is ongoing and up to three years after the defendant has been tried guilty or pleads guilty and subsequently charged with a domestic violence conviction.
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
When you file for a restraining order for domestic violence, you will file papers telling the court and the judge what happened and why you need to be protected with a restraining order. If approved, the judge will order a temporary restraining order for you.
This type of restraining order usually lasts 20 to 25 days. It is only temporary because you will have to attend another hearing for a permanent restraining order and the temporary restraining order is sufficient to protect you until your hearing.
Permanent Restraining Order
After you file for TRO, you will have a hearing for a permanent restraining order. If approved, the judge may order a restraining order that lasts up to five years. Once the five years are up, or if your order expires, you may ask for a new restraining order from the criminal court so you can still be protected.
Emergency Protective Order (EPO)
Emergency protective orders are requested from a judge by law enforcement when police officers respond to a domestic violence call. EPOs can be filed by judges 24/7 and can be used to order the offender to leave the house and stay away from the victim and his or her children.
This type of restraining order can last up to seven days. This is sufficient time for the abuse victim to file a temporary restraining order.
Consult with Our San Luis Obispo Domestic Violence Attorneys!
If you are in an abusive relationship and are considering filing a restraining order, don’t hesitate to contact our trusted San Luis Obispo domestic violence lawyers at 805 Family Law. Our domestic abuse attorneys are knowledgeable in California DV laws thanks to their experience handling DV charges. This makes us well equipped to be your legal counsel and legal representation in the courtroom.
Let us help you make sure that you and your loved ones are protected by the law from the people that seek to harm you.