Violation of a Restraining or Protective Order – California Penal Code 273.6
These violation of protective orders usually come up in domestic violence related offenses and what ends up happening is people are being ordered by the court to stay away from a particular individual who is the subject victim in a criminal case and part of that order is usually to stay a hundred yards away, don’t annoy them, don’t molest them, don’t strike them, don’t stalk them, don’t have anybody else contact them.
A lot of times what I see happening where these violations occurred, the obvious one is the person is stalking and following the other person and bothering them, gets caught within a hundred yards of the other person and the people are there and they get arrested. Violation of a restraining or protective order is covered under California Penal Code 273.6.
But also, I see them calling, texting, sending things, posting stuff on Facebook that indirect communication. They somehow thing they’re sneaky and they’re going to get out of it. They end up getting arrested, handcuffed and taken away because they can’t stay away from the other person.
Prohibited from Making Contact With Victim
Other times, they’ll have a third party contact the other person and try to get that person to change their testimony, not testify or just simply pass a message along and that would be a violation of a protective order in a criminal case. You don’t want to violate a criminal protective order because one, it will violate your current case and make your current case a lot more difficult to deal with; and two, it will cause a new charge to be filed against you, so you’ll be looking at two separate criminal cases. So, there’s all sorts of bad things that can flow from a violation of a protective order.
Another thing that I see is that people confuse a protective order and a restraining order. A protective order is a criminal order put in place by a criminal just either while a case is pending to keep the parties separated or after a conviction in a domestic violence case or any other type of case, a protective order can be put in place if it’s appropriate. So, that’s what a protective order is and it’s a criminal remedy that’s dealt with in a criminal domestic violence case most of the time.
A restraining order on the other hand is a civil remedy. Someone’s bugging you. You don’t want them to be bothering you and harassing you anymore. You go to civil court. You request a civil restraining order. The judge grants it. If a person violates the civil restraining order, then obviously you can call the police.
The person will be arrested and will be charged with a crime. That’s what gives that restraining order some teeth. But just because a restraining order is issued against the person, it doesn’t mean the person is convicted of a crime. It is not criminal-related.
Both things could be going on. Somebody could go get a restraining order and at the same time they could go to the police and have the police arrest the person for stalking them, molesting them, harassing them, battering them, and you’re a lot more likely to get a restraining order if you could prove some sort of domestic violence related to whatever happened.
If you can show a criminal conviction in a case, getting a restraining order will be very easy, but at most times, once you get that criminal conviction, you really don’t need a restraining order anymore because you’re going to end up getting a protective order which is just as effective — if not more effective — than a restraining order in a criminal case.
Full Stay-Away Protective Order
So, protective orders are very important things to look at. A new thing that’s going on now in domestic violence cases is that — you can read about this in my book — is that what ends up happening is, people are getting arrested for a domestic battery charge and the prosecutors in most of the cases are trying to get a full stay-away protective order right from the first court appearance.
This is horrible for some people because what ends up happening is that they get themselves in a position where they are kicked out of their own living location, are having problems meeting with their kids because of this criminal protective order.
It’s a very serious thing. I’ve thought of some remedies to try and avoid this full protective order being issued where you can’t see your loved one, but you can’t get in every case.
The more serious the domestic violence-related issued, the worse the person’s criminal record, the more likely this protective order is going to be put in place. It’s going to be a full protective order and you’re not going to be able to see the other party.