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Difference Between a Protective Order and Restraining Order in Los Angeles Domestic Violence Cases

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ. | Mar 01, 2019

This is a good topic to review because a lot of people get this confused.  So, if you're charged with a crime and it relates to a domestic violence or spousal abuse case in Los Angeles, one of the issues you're going to have to grapple with is a lot of times the police will tell your significant other to go get a restraining order.  That's basically a civil remedy.

So, they're going to go into civil court, fill out the civil paperwork and if they can create enough of an issue related to you, they'll get the judge to order a temporary restraining order like right away, where you're not allowed to come within 100 yards of the protected party.

Civil Restraining Order

Of course, that has to be served on you in order to be effective.  In other words, you have to know about it.  So, that's a civil remedy.  If you violate that civil restraining order then you could be subject to criminal charges.  You could be arrested and get a new criminal case aside from the domestic violence case you're facing right now.

One of the reasons they do that is because a lot of times if somebody bails out on the $50,000.00 bail related to a domestic violence case, that person will then be out.  They'll be free to go back to the other party, cause problems, issues, etc.  So, that way this civil restraining order can be used to stop the person right away.

Criminal Protective Order

The criminal protective order comes in once the person appears in court.  The criminal court, if charges are filed in a domestic violence case in Los Angeles, will automatically put a criminal protective order into place and basically order the person to stay away from the other party and children one hundred yards.

It will be a full stay away unless that party actually shows up in court and asks for what's called a Level One protective order in Los Angles, where they're allowed to go within a hundred yards, they just can't annoy, molest, harass, stalk or commit any type of battery on that particular person and that protective order stays on the case while the case is pending.

It typically gets put in place if the person gets convicted and ends up in a position where they're put on probation, then that criminal protective order will be there to protect the other party.

If you violate a criminal protective order you could be charged with a crime and you would also be looking at a probation violation on the underlying criminal case for violating the criminal protective order.  So really, a criminal protective order and a restraining order can kind of sit at the same time, both of which could subject the person to charges were they to violate them.

But they really are, once that criminal protective order is in place, kind of superfluous.  In other words, you don't really need the restraining order once the criminal protective order is put in place.

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Now, this is something you definitely want to sit down with an attorney and talk to about to see whether you can get yourself in a position where you don't have one of these criminal protective orders and if you do, whether you can make it a Level One protective order so you could put yourself in a position where you could still see your significant other if that's something you want to do.

A lot of times people are married.  They have kids, so they don't want to have a criminal protective order in place that blocks them from seeing their significant other and they don't want to have a restraining order in place so they can't see their significant other.

In order to get these two remedies removed, you and your significant other are going to have to go into court and have the judge remove whatever you're trying to remove.  If you're trying to make it a Level One, then you have to go in there.  If you're trying to get rid of the restraining order completely, you're going to have to go in, file paperwork and get the judge to order it.

A lot of times in Los Angeles county, they will not get rid of a criminal protective order until the person actually does some domestic violence classes and is enrolled and showing that they're making good progressive, and then a lot of times they will get rid of the criminal protective order so the parties can get back together and be in the same position they were before that protective order was issued against them.

Related Article:
Difference Between A Criminal Protective Order And A Restraining Order In Los Angeles

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

Ronald D. Hedding, Esq., is the founding member of the Hedding Law Firm. Mr. Hedding has an extensive well-rounded legal background in the area of Criminal Law. He has worked for the District Attorney's Office, a Superior Court Judge, and as the guiding force behind the Hedding Law Firm. His multi-faceted experience sets Mr. Hedding apart and puts him in an elite group of the best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Southern California.