What is Domestic Violence?
California defines "domestic violence" as abuse perpetrated against a former or current spouse, former or current cohabitant, current or former intimate partner, a co-parent, a child of a parent, or blood relatives. Contrary to popular assumption, domestic violence is not limited to physical violence, but can include emotional or psychological abuse, intimidation, coercion or control through threats and intimidation, or overtly intrusive and disturbing behavior which may be considered if it “disturbs the peace.” Of course, sexual assault qualifies as domestic violence, along with other behavior that places a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury.
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, Law Office of Channe G. Coles can help. Timely filings are necessary in these matters; don’t wait to ask for help. By choosing the Law Office of Channe G. Coles, you will have guidance throughout the process and all of your questions will be answered.
California Law & Prevention Against Domestic Violence
The Domestic Violence Protection Act (DVPA) is designed to protect victims of domestic violence and allow them expedited means to obtain a restraining order. Domestic Violence restraining orders are often sought in an expedited manner, leading with a request for a temporary restraining order, then a formal hearing and moving toward a request for a longer-term restraining order. 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.
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.
Ramifications of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
Allegations of domestic violence are very serious. If true, they affect the victim on a multitude of levels and 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 an illegitimate proceeding causing injury to his/her reputation and potential loss of job and income.
Although a domestic violence restraining order is heard in family court, a division of civil law, California also imposes criminal liability on persons who have perpetrated domestic violence and who have violated an abuse prevention order. Domestic violence restraining orders are placed into law enforcement databases through a CLETS order and may have legal ramifications for the restrained person’s employment, reputation, and potentially a detrimental effect on later custody and support awards.
Time Matters with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order
Whether or not an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) was issued by law enforcement, a temporary restraining order (TRO) may still be sought—even without providing notice to the restrained party. A TRO moves very quickly, generally issued within 24-48 hours of filing the request with the court, and often the first hearing is one to two weeks after filing. If you’re seeking a restraining order or are defending one, time matters and it’s imperative that you act quickly.
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, please call us at (805) 617-4618 for a free confidential consultation.