Everything You Need to Know About California Protective Orders

Aug 4, 2022 | Blog

Before you can do anything else, you have to know deep down that you’re safe. When you’re not in a space that allows you to feel secure, even the smallest of daily tasks can become daunting and unmanageable. 

To allow you the safety you need and deserve, the state of California offers protective orders, also known as restraining orders in the family law context. These court orders can remove the pain you’re experiencing in your life, and can be put in place to protect you from abuse, violence, threats, harassment, and stalking.

When looking into the language surrounding restraining orders, you’ll find that the protected person is filing against the restrained person. With this, sometimes a protected person can include family members or household members who are also affected.

By taking steps to maintain your own care, you’re not only protecting yourself, you’re championing everyone else in your circle. As you’re navigating the protection you need, you’re providing a space where your loved ones can be safe, too. Taking action is the best thing you can do to support yourself and those around you.

As so many people are seeking different types of help, the state has multiple ways of providing protection. You can find support with a personal conduct order to stop all contact between you and your abuser, a stay-away order that will keep this person out of your go-to places, or a residence exclusion order that prevents you living together until the court hearing takes place.

How Your Protection Affects Them

To start, your safety is paramount. Whatever you’re going through right now, you are priority, and protective orders are available to support you and those who rely on you if you are a victim of abuse.

When someone is served a restraining order, that person may have to change their routines for the duration of the order. This can mean moving out, avoiding certain places or activities where you are, releasing possession of firearms, and potentially addressing issues with their immigration status if they seek a green card or visa.

Step into your Power

Your peace of mind is essential for you to lead the life you want to live, and a safe space is a foundational start. With different types of protection spanning various situations, you’ll find the right foothold with an order that restores your safety.

Restraining orders span harassment, violence, and abuse, and specific orders apply to certain circumstances. This is limited to your options in a family law context, where current or former spouses, registered domestic partners, co-parents, significant others, and certain family members abused you.

Think Next Steps

The court does not impose a filing fee to apply for a restraining order, when you’re ready. When you’re ready, requesting a restraining order is free, and you can begin the filing process by submitting necessary paperwork for your case. As you move through the process, you will work with a judge to navigate temporary orders and court hearings.

When you’re thinking through your timeline to seek a restraining order, keep in mind that different types of restraining orders operate on different timelines. Before you start the process of requesting an order, identify what you think you’ll need. Then, you can map out what your process moving forward looks like, based on what’s right for you.

A Look into Protection Timelines:

Emergency Protective Order (EPO)

For the most immediate protection, you can look to law enforcement officers to issue an EPO if they are responding to an abuse perpetrated upon you. You can request these orders 24 hours a day, and they go into effect immediately. While they provide swift coverage, they only last seven days, so if you’re seeking longer protection, you’ll have to request a temporary restraining order.

Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

If there is abuse and you need a cooling off period, you can request a temporary restraining order to give yourself space. This temporary protection lasts approximately 21 days, and can be used while waiting for approval on a requested permanent order.

Permanent Restraining Order

For continued protection, you can petition for a permanent restraining order if you’re still in need of protection on the day your TRO is set to expire. While labeled as “permanent,” these orders last up to five years, and they will require renewal upon expiration.

Criminal Protective Order

Any time someone is involved in one or more domestic violence incidents, the district attorney may file criminal charges against the abuser. While the criminal case is going, the court may issue a criminal protective order against the abuser, which can last up to three years after the case is over. This criminal protective order can be used in the family court to petition for a permanent restraining order, which can exceed the three years. 

Find the Support You Need

As you’re navigating how you want to move forward, remember you’re the one who knows what’s best for you. If you have questions or want to talk through your options, you can schedule a consultation with Alaimo Boyer in San Diego. We’re here to support you through our years of law practice. Above all, we have you in mind.

If you or a loved one need immediate protection, call the police now and we can work through next steps once you’re in a safe place.