If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you have a right to look to the Court for protection. There are several different types of restraining orders that can provide domestic violence victims with this kind of protection.
Being a victim of domestic violence can be a stressful and traumatic ordeal. However, there are legal ways to ease the stress and trauma by ensuring that further harm does not come to the victim. A domestic violence restraining order is a court order that protects a person from being abused or harmed by another person.
To qualify for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order you must have a relationship with the person you are seeking the order against. This relationship must be one of the following:
- Married Couples (sometime known as Spousal Abuse)
- Couples who cohabit
- Persons who have a child or children in common
- Persons currently in a dating relationship or who were in a former dating relationship
- Persons who were formerly married to each other
In California, the victims of domestic violence can obtain three different types of restraining orders: an Emergency Protective Order, a Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order, or a Criminal Protective Order.
An Emergency Protective Order (EPO) is issued by law enforcement and is only valid for a short amount of time, usually less than one week. This type of restraining order is particularly useful for victims of domestic violence, as it provides them with immediate protection after an incident has occurred. These types of restraining orders usually arise when the police have responded to a domestic violence call.
A Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is another short term restraining order valid for no more than 21 days. While these restraining orders only cover a short period of time, they can be made permanent for 1 to 3 years. The purpose of a TRO is to provide the victim with protection until a hearing can be held and a permanent restraining order can be issued.
A Criminal Protective Order can be obtained through the District Attorney’s office and is issued in active domestic violence criminal cases. Under this kind of restraining order, the individual the order is issued against is not to have any contact with the victim.
Each type of restraining order must be court-ordered, so you will have to go to court to prove your domestic violence case. It is important to have an attorney who can represent your best interests. An experienced family law attorney will ensure that all of the proper documents have been filed, will be able to handle any questions a judge might have, and will help you deal with any unusual circumstances that arise.