If someone has accused you of verbal, physical or emotional abuse and you’re facing domestic violence charges, then you’re likely already beginning to see the impact that such charges have on your life. You might have already lost your right to any weapons you own, and you may be facing a restraining order requested by your alleged victims.
You may want to familiarize yourself with California’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA) if your alleged victim has filed a restraining order against you to avoid further complicating the charges your face.
How does California’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act define domestic violence?
Under the law, the following acts are considered domestic violence:
- Committing a physical or sexual assault
- Destroying someone else’s property
- Making threatening phone calls
- Written threats
- Disturbing the peace
Molestation, harassment, battery and stalking may all constitute domestic violence as well.
What’s the likelihood your alleged victim will file a restraining order against you?
A California judge may issue a Civil Harassment Order if your alleged victim says that they’ve suffered abuse at your hands. The court may issue a Domestic Violence Restraining Order if they can prove the allegations.
The alleged victim must also prove that you two were previously in a romantic relationship or have some kind of blood or residential relationship to be eligible to request such a court order. California law allows minors 12 and over to petition for restraining orders with the consent of a parent or guardian.
How long can you expect a protection or restraining order to last once put in place?
Judges generally institute emergency protection orders that last seven or fewer calendar days. Ex-parte or temporary restraining orders last 15 days.
The court may schedule a hearing to determine whether to issue a restraining order. The evidence presented in court may dictate how long the restraining order remains in effect, but it may last up to five years.
Other ways domestic violence charges can affect you other than resulting in the implementation of a restraining order
Such charges may impact your right to child custody. This, coupled with the implementation of a restraining order, may all happen before your case goes to trial. This is why you need understand your rights and your legal options if you’re accused of domestic violence.