A lot of protective orders are issued in Los Angeles county usually related to some sort of a domestic violence charge. A violation of a protective ordered is defined under California Penal Code 273.6.
There is one big thing I see after 26 years of defended these cases. A lot of times, the alleged victim who is the person that the protective order supposedly protects — is actually the one who reaches out to the defendant.
Then, the the defendant somehow gets caught communicating with the alleged victim or seeing the alleged victim and somehow they think it's a defense that the alleged victim reached out to them.
It's not. Now a lot of times the judges even tell defendants in domestic violence cases that if the defendant gets caught with the other party, even if they contacted you first, you're the one looking at going to jail or prison, not the other party because they don't have a protective order issued against them.
The answer when they call you is, I can't talk to you and I can't deal with you. So, you don't deal with them because otherwise, you put yourself in the position of potentially getting jail time or severe punishment.
Defenses for Allegedly Violating Terms of protective Order
Some defenses to violation of a protective order. If you happen to walk into a store and you see the person the protective order is issued for and you leave the store, you certainly wouldn't be deemed to be violating the protective order.
If you accidentally or mistakenly happened upon the alleged victim, the right way to handle is to definitely go the other way, leave, and you won't have a problem.
I had a client in Santa Barbara who had a protective order. He went to the college there. It's a college town. He was still in school and he happened to see the other party and he left — he walked away.
The other party followed him, started taunting him and saying stuff to him and ultimately he called the police, somehow trying to blame him.
The District Attorney's office didn't file that case because he didn't do anything wrong. He saw the other person and he left, and that's the way you're supposed to handle it.
Unfortunately, though, sometimes the other side takes advantage of the fact that you have a protective order and puts you in a real bad position.
Didn't Knowingly Violate the Protective Order
So, the bottom line is this:
- (1) you have to knowingly violate the protective order; and
- (2) you have to actually have a legitimate protective order that you know about.
Don't get a protective order confused with a restraining order. A restraining order is a civil remedy, where someone goes to civil court and gets you for harassment or some sort of domestic violence.
A protective order relates specifically to a criminal case. It's a criminal judge saying you now have a crime filed against you and I' ordering you to stay away from the alleged victim.
If you violate my order, then not only will you probably get your bail revoked, we're also going to charge you with a separate offense and they'll tell the prosecutors to charge you with a separate offense for violating a protective order.
So, if you need help — you've got protective order issues — pick up the phone. Ask to speak to Ron Hedding. I'm in criminal court all the time dealing with protective orders. I stand at the ready to help you.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.