Channe really has your back. Dealing with lawyers and child custody is hard enough, stressful beyond; but Channe and staff really stood strong for me and I got the results I wanted. She totally understood my situation after only one meeting, and was there every step of the way. She also tried to help me keep my cost down. I could not be Happier :-)
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Santa Barbara Restraining Order and Domestic Violence Attorney

What is Domestic Violence?

Santa Barbara Restraining Order and Domestic Violence Attorney

California defines "domestic violence" as abuse perpetrated against a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, or former cohabitant. Abuse inflicted by one's current or former dating partner or fiancé/fiancée is also domestic violence, as is abuse committed against the parent of a child by the other parent. California also extends its recognition of domestic violence to abuse committed by extended family members, provided the abuser and the victim are related in the second degree by either blood or marriage.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are concerned about your well-being and safety, or that of your children, and need an attorney to obtain a needed restraining order or to defend you against a frivolous restraining order, the Law Office of Channe G. Coles is here to help.

California Law & Prevention Against Domestic Violence

The California Prevention of Domestic Violence statutes are designed to prevent abuse between family members, household members, and dating couples. The statutes protect both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Victims of domestic violence may request that the court issue a protective order to prevent future abuse. A parent may apply for the order on behalf of a child, or the child, if age 12 or older, may appear in court and independently seek such an order.

Pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence statute, the following persons may obtain a protective order:

  • A person who is in immediate and present danger of domestic violence;
  • A child who is in immediate and present danger of abuse by a family or household member;
  • A child who is in immediate and present danger of being abducted by a parent or relative; or
  • An elder or dependent adult who is in immediate and present danger of abuse

The Family Code permits the issuance of protective orders and other domestic violence prevention orders not only to increase the security of the victim, but also to provide a legal mechanism for holding the abuser accountable for his or her actions. If an abuser violates a protective order, the abuser may be jailed and punished in accordance with the California Penal Code.

Emotional and Legal Ramifications of Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders

Allegations of domestic violence are very serious. If true, they affect the victim not only physically but can cause long-term mental and emotional injury. If untrue, the person against whom the allegations were made is called upon to defend him/herself in a spurious proceeding causing injury to his/her reputation and potential loss of job and income. In addition to it being a civil matter, California also imposes criminal liability on persons who have perpetrated domestic violence and who have violated an abuse prevention order, becoming part of your permanent criminal record.

Santa Barbara Restraining Order and Domestic Violence Attorney

When someone pursues civil legal action for domestic violence and tries to set up a restraining order in California, it is important to realize that the stakes are high. When these orders are issued, it goes on a person's record and can affect professionals, including teachers, doctors, accountants and legal professionals. It can go on your permanent record and affect employability and earning capacity. Regardless of gender, if you are falsely accused of domestic violence, it is disappointing to see how quickly a temporary restraining order will be issued against you; affecting your rights regarding your children and your property. While it is important that the law provides a safety mechanism for those who are in fear of their safety, it is important that these measures are taken seriously and applied judiciously.

At the Law Office of Channe G. Coles we take seriously all claims of domestic violence and will act quickly, with the urgency required to ensure your continued protection and that of your child's, or if false, effectively defend against any frivolous allegations of abuse.

Restraining Orders

A domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) is an order by a judge in civil court requiring that an abuser stop abusing the victim or suffer serious legal consequences. The order offers protection to both male and female victims of abuse.

Who Can Be Charged With A Restraining Order?

In order to get a domestic violence protective order in California, someone must be:

  • A person with whom you have a child in common
  • A person you live or lived with
  • A person related to you by blood or marriage
  • A current or former spouse
  • A boyfriend or girlfriend

Actions That Can Lead to a DVRO

Under California family law, the abuser must commit or have committed one of the following actions:

  • Stalks or uses force against you, including molestation, attacks, strikes or batters
  • Either harasses or threatens to harass you (It can be done by telephone, mail or email and dies not have to be done in person)
  • Destroys your personal property
  • Disturbs your peace
  • Caused or tried to cause physical injury
  • Assaults you sexually
  • Makes you afraid that you or someone else is in danger of immediate and serious physical injury

Types of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

A domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) is an order by a judge in civil court requiring that an abuser stop abusing the victim or suffer serious legal consequences. The order offers protection to both male and female victims of abuse. There are three types of domestic violence restraining orders: emergency protective order, temporary restraining order and restraining order after hearing.

Emergency Protective Orders 

Emergency Protective Orders enjoining domestic violence in family law matters may be issued by the court on an ex parte basis (where only the alleged victim appears before a judge). The alleged victim must file a declaration setting forth "reasonable proof" that an act of abuse occurred. Once a temporary order has been issued, a hearing will be held. Based on the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing, the judge will determine whether a final protective order should be issued. Final orders may be issued for up to five years.

Santa Barbara Restraining Order and Domestic Violence Attorney

If abuse is imminent and the court is not open, a victim of domestic violence may also request the help of a law enforcement officer to obtain an emergency protective order. The law enforcement officer must specifically request that a judicial officer issue the emergency protective order. This type of domestic violence prevention order remains in effect for five judicial business days after it was issued, and not more than seven calendar days.

Protective orders may enjoin specific conduct and acts of abuse, exclude a person from a home, and enjoin other specific behavior necessary to ensure that the orders preventing abuse are upheld. Final protective orders may also include provisions for child custody and visitation, child and spousal support, and attorney fees and costs.

Either party may request that the court modify these orders, or the parties may stipulate to a modification. The victim of domestic violence may also request that a protective order be renewed.

Restraining Order After Hearing

After the hearing to get a DVRO, the judge can issue a “restraining order after hearing” that can last as long as five years if the judge so rules. If the judge does not give a termination date for the restraining order, it lasts three years. The victim may ask the court for an extension of the restraining order or request a permanent DVRO.

Responsive Representation For A Serious And Urgent Issue

At the Law Office of Channe G. Coles, attorney Coles will counsel you through the complicated legal waters of domestic violence prevention in California. She offers assistance in obtaining and defending against protective orders, as well as modifying existing protective orders.

To speak to an attorney at the Law Office of Channe G. Coles about restraining orders or other options available for protection against domestic abuse in Santa Barbara County, please visit us online at www.ccsblaw.com or call us at (805) 617-4618 for a free confidential consultation.

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