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Violating a Domestic Violence Protective Order in California

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ. | Jan 18, 2022

What Will Happen If You Are Charged with Violating a Criminal Protective Order Related to a Domestic Violence Case?

The crime of violating a protective order is described under California Penal Code Section 273.6 PC.  This domestic violence-related crime occurs when someone intentionally and knowingly breaks a court-issued order.

Restraining and protective orders are usually issued to protect someone from physical harm or other types of conduct, including harassment, threats, or stalking.

Violate Protective Order in Los Angeles

The person who has been “restrained” is prohibited from contacting the “protected” person, including making contact by phone, text message, email, social media, and personal contact.

A protective order is almost always issued in cases involving violence or credible threats of violence to the victim. The conduct that a protective order prohibits will always depend on the circumstances of the case.

Criminal protective orders (CPOs) are restraining orders issued by a criminal court as part of a domestic violence prosecution and will outline acceptable or prohibited behavior.

Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will review the laws more closely below.

Initial Domestic Violence Arrest

This happens all the time.  Somebody gets arrested for domestic violence.  Maybe the person gets a civil restraining order against them or not.

They eventually end up going to court, and once they make that first appearance in a domestic violence case, the criminal judge is, by procedure, going to issue a criminal protective order against them.

That's different than civil harassment.  That's the criminal judge saying, I'm going to let you stay out of custody — whether you're out on your own recognizance or whether you posted bail, but I'm going to order you to stay away from that other person.

I'm going to order you not to abuse them, harass them, contact them, stalk them, and you can't have your family do it either.

Different Levels of Protective Orders

There are different levels of criminal protective orders which various restrictions. The most restrictive form of a CPO is a full stay-away.  This no-contact order restraining prohibits the defendant from contacting or coming near the victim.

Less restrictive protective orders can be issued for different reasons. One main reason is that the parties have minor children. A complete stay-away order would interfere with the ability to care for them.

When this occurs, the criminal court will usually defer custody and visitation orders from the family or dependency court, which are more familiar with the specific family issues.

In other situations, the victim might decide to address the court directly and ask for a less restrictive CPO, such as a peaceful contact order.

This type of order allows the defendant to continue and live with the victim and contact them by phone. However, all kinds of contact must be free of violence, threats of violence, stalking, intimidation, or other unwanted conduct.

Violating a Protective Order – Penal Code 273.6 PC

If you violate this criminal protective order, not only will you be looking at a new crime being filed against, you will break the terms that the judge set for your release, and most of these criminal judges, especially when it comes to domestic violence cases, do not take any chances.

Violating a criminal protective order can have harsh consequences under California Penal Code 273.6.

They're going to have you arrested, and they can jack your bail up very high to make it difficult to post, or if they think you're a bad enough danger, they can make it no bail.

That way, you can't get out while your case is pending.  While your case is over, typically in these domestic violence cases, they're going to put a 10-year band on you contacting the other party.

So, if you're married to the other party and have children with the other party, you start to see the problems when it comes to these protective orders.

This stays on your record.  When somebody looks your record up, they're going to see that you violated a criminal protective order.  That makes you a hazardous person in a lot of people's eyes.

You can't listen to what a judge says.  Prosecutors will want to put you in jail if you have prior felonies related to domestic violence cases; they're going to want to put you in prison.

Defenses for Protective Order Violations

So, violating a protective order is serious.  You're going to need one of the best criminal defense attorneys you can find.  That's where I come in.

That's why you're on this website.  Check out my videos.  Check out the information here.  I have put all this information on there by a practicing criminal defense attorney who has defended people related to protective orders now for 30 years.

Defenses for Protective Order Violations

We have represented numerous people charged with domestic violence offenses in California courts and frequently litigate issues related to criminal protective orders.

Experienced legal representation is crucial to maximizing the chances of a successful outcome in your case.

So, if you're looking for the best, you want to make sure moving forward that you do all of the right things related to our criminal case.  You want to stay out of prison; you want to protect your record; you've come to the right place.

Pick up the phone now.  Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  I've handled thousands of criminal protective order related cases.

I know what it takes to get you the best result.  We will sit down and set up a plan to help you.  We're going to make the right moves starting when you meet me, and we're going to do everything we can to defend you properly.

Hedding Law Firm is located in Los Angeles County and serves people throughout Southern California, including Ventura County, Orange County, San Bernardino, and Riverside. We offer a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.

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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.