Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

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Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVRO)

A Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) in San Diego is a court-issued directive to protect an individual from injury, physical harm, or the fear of abuse, harm, or injury. Judges typically issue Restraining Orders against a member of the household or family members in domestic violence or abuse cases, but the order may also be issued against any other individual threatening your or someone else's safety.

In San Diego, violating a Restraining Order has consequences, including imprisonment, a criminal record, and fines. The state’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act is designed to protect the rights of people who have suffered from any type of domestic violence. To obtain a DVRO in San Diego, it is best to consult with our skilled family law attorneys at Moshtael Family Law. Our dedicated legal team thoroughly understands the Act to ensure that you get due protection under this law.

With our lawyers on your side, you will have the much-needed reassurance and peace of mind you require during a stressful time. Understanding and navigating the DVRO process can be complex. Our restraining order attorneys at Moshtael Family Law are well-versed in the intricacies of the process and can help you navigate these choppy waters. Our law firm has represented numerous clients in San Diego successfully in similar cases and we can provide you with strong and dependable legal advocacy you need.

Swift action is crucial whether you are seeking to file a Domestic Violence Restraining Order against someone or if such an order has been filed against you. Contact us immediately for a free initial consultation with a hard working and reliable San Diego restraining order attorney. With our support, you can approach this sensitive and potentially life-changing situation confidently and secure yours and your family’s well-being.

What Protections Can You Get with a DVRO in San Diego?

As part of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, the judge in San Diego may:

  • Issue an order prohibiting the abuser from committing any of the following acts against you, your children, and/or your family/household members:
    • Assault, abuse, threaten, disturb the peace of, follow, destroy the property of, sexually assault, stalk, come within a certain distance of, make contact (directly or indirectly), or harass on a call/by other means.
  • Order the abuser to vacate the residence you both live in, regardless of whether you own the home or have a tenancy agreement.
  • Issue a Restraining Order against the abuser preventing them from possessing/purchasing firearms or ammunition. It may require the abuser to disclose the location and number of ammunition or firearms in their possession and provide instructions on surrendering these items to law enforcement agencies.
  • Order the abuser to pay spousal support (if you are married) or child support.
  • Award you temporary possession of jointly owned assets, such as a second property, car, computer, and other similar items. Additionally, the judge may order the abuser to assume the responsibility of paying outstanding debts associated with these assets during the duration of the Order.
  • Issue an order mandating the abuser to reimburse you for any lost income or expenses incurred as a direct result of the abuse, including but not limited to medical, dental, shelter, counseling, legal fees, and ambulance costs.
  • Order the abuser to pay your legal fees (if their earnings are higher than yours), and you cannot pay your attorney.
  • Order the abuser to attend a counseling service like a batterer’s treatment program.
  • Order the transfer of joint ownership of a cell phone account into your name exclusively, thereby enabling you to retain your existing wireless telephone number and those of any minors in your custody.
  • Grant temporary child custody and visitation to you, which involves determining the children's residence, assigning decision-making authority, and specifying the nature and conditions of visitation between each parent and the children. This includes, but is not limited to, determining the location, duration, and whether or not the visitation will be supervised.

    Note: Any custody, visitation, or support order made within your DVRO remains effective even at the end of the DVRO. You might want to ask the courts to specifically include this fact in the DVRO to help future enforcement of the Order easier; and
  • Grant any other request you ask for that the court agrees to.

What to Do When You and/or Your Children Face Domestic Violence in San Diego?

Domestic violence victims naturally fear for their safety and the safety of their children. You should call 911 as soon as possible if domestic violence has occurred. If you or your kids have been threatened or abused, you must seek legal counsel from our trusted San Diego DVRO attorneys who will work towards safeguarding the well-being of you and your children.

It's always best to get a Restraining Order sooner than later. The skilled San Diego restraining order attorneys at Moshtael Family Law will help you file an Emergency Restraining Order request, which is designed to protect victims that fear for their safety. A San Diego judge can typically grant a Temporary Restraining Order within 24 hours.

The Order gives you peace of mind as it prevents the abuser from approaching or visiting a protected place like your home, children's school, and your place of work, etc. and causing further harm or danger to your well-being.

If you need a long-term Restraining Order, our San Diego DVRO lawyers can assist in presenting evidence of abuse, while also help establish evidence of your well-reasoned fear of continued abuse. If a parent has abused a child, the child's best interest will be considered under the law. This means that a Restraining Order in San Diego can also affect child custody and/or child support and visitation.

Implications of a Restraining Order for Child Custody in San Diego

When a San Diego family court issues a Restraining Order after a hearing (also called a Permanent Restraining Order), it presumes that the domestic violence perpetrator should not be granted custody rights over the children. So, what is the legal significance of this rule in child custody proceedings? If the co-parent files a temporary Restraining Order against you, you must defend against it. Failing to do so can prohibit or significantly reduce your parenting time and visitation with your kids.

Under Family Code 3044, the courts in San Diego must ensure domestic violence perpetrators are not given child custody without specific precautionary measures. Based on this, this presumption is rebuttable. It means that even though there was a finding of domestic violence, the perpetrator can provide evidence to the judge that they have taken necessary steps to ensure a secure and safe environment for the children.

Defendants in these cases in San Diego may have to provide completion proofs of having undergone individual therapy, parenting courses, and a batterer’s intervention course. These are standard ways that can help you overcome the legal presumption and restore your custody or visitation rights.

Move Out Orders in San Diego

The party that needs the Restraining Order in San Diego can request that the judge order the opposite party to move out of the family residence. Once they make a proper request, law enforcement will remove that individual from the home. The restrained party is given a small window to collect their belongings before leaving. These orders can frustrate and infuriate people who didn’t resort to domestic violence.

The sheriff serves the move-out orders to cease the possibility of further domestic violence. Besides, any competent adult apart from the sheriff and disconnected from the case can serve the Order.

How are Restraining Orders Obtained in San Diego?

A person seeking a Restraining Order in San Diego has two options open to them: (a) they can apply for the Order by going to a court and filling out the paperwork; or (b) they can hire a qualified attorney to accurately complete the filing documentation procedure.

The person must describe the situation in the initial paperwork and mention why their domestic situation is potentially dangerous. A judge will review this statement before determining whether they should issue a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order). The perpetrator doesn’t have to be present for this order to be issued.

The TRO usually lasts for a few weeks, after which there will be a court hearing to decide whether the Permanent Restraining Order (which is limited to five years) should be granted to the applicant. Both parties will present evidence to the court without a jury present. The San Diego family court will decide whether to issue the Restraining Order based on the evidence and arguments of both sides.

Can I Get an Order Against the Domestic Violence Perpetrator in San Diego if They Reside in a Different State?

In cases where the applicant and the abuser do not live in the same state, the judge in San Diego may not be able to grant an order because they do not have power (personal jurisdiction) over an abuser residing out of state. Taking this into account, there are some ways a judge can have personal jurisdiction in such cases, if you (the victim) are a resident of California:

  • The perpetrator has significant links to California. It could be that they frequently visit California to meet you, visit their extended family, or conduct business, or they used to live in California but fled from here recently.
  • One of the instances of abuse took place in California. This can be puzzling as the abuser might be in a different state from where they make annoying phone calls/send intimidating text messages. The situation can become intricate because you may be answering their calls or reading their messages from within California.
  • The court can determine that the abuse occurred while you were in California. In addition, the abuser was likely within California when they committed the offense, but isn't in the state any longer.
  • Submitting your petition and serving the abuser with the court documents while they are present in California can be an additional means for the court to establish jurisdiction.

Even if none of the above situations apply to your situation, it doesn’t automatically imply that you can’t get a Restraining Order. If you file a petition, the judge may grant the Order on consent, or they may identify other circumstances that make it possible to grant the Order.

Difference between a Domestic Violence Restraining Order and a Civil Harassment Restraining Order

A Domestic Violence Restraining Order works where the protected party and the accused person have, or have had, some form of an intimate relationship. This includes boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives, former intimates, ex-spouses, and anyone who shares intimate relationships while living together. Blood relatives can also apply for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.

Civil harassment Restraining Orders apply when the parties do not share an intimate relationship. Some examples of this include orders involving roommates and coworkers. It’s also possible to apply a civil harassment Restraining Order to prevent unwelcome attention from an unknown individual.

What Happens When You are Wrongly Accused of Domestic Violence in San Diego?

There is another side to the Domestic Violence allegation issue, which can be intimidating and complicated all at once. Remember that you always have rights if someone has falsely accused you of inflicting domestic violence. Disputes and anger are expected outcomes of separations, sometimes resulting in unsubstantiated or false accusations.

You have the right to defend yourself if you haven’t committed an offense. Remember that failing to take steps to protect yourself can have adverse consequences, such as the potential loss of visitation rights with your children in the future. At Moshtael Family Law, our seasoned DVRO lawyers are fully equipped to protect your rights in these cases.

Domestic Violence Restraining Order: Frequently Asked Questions in San Diego

If you are in a situation requiring a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in San Diego, you might have a number of questions, doubts and concerns. No two cases are alike, so it's best to contact our knowledgeable Domestic Violence Restraining Order attorneys who are committed to providing you personalized legal representation. We will thoroughly evaluate and investigate your case details before suggesting the best approach to protect you and your family from harm.

Here are some responses to the common inquiries that our attorneys specializing in Restraining Orders frequently receive in San Diego:

How old do I need to be to get a Restraining Order in San Diego?

By law, you must be at least 14 years old to file a Restraining Order.

What happens if a person violates a Restraining Order?

A Restraining Order violation can result in arrest and jail time.

Does there have to be actual physical abuse for a Restraining Order to be granted?

To obtain a Restraining Order in San Diego, there must be some indication that threatening conduct affected or could potentially harm the person seeking protection. Domestic violence orders typically need evidence of physical and/or psychological or emotional abuse.

Can a person owning firearms subject to a Restraining Order continue possessing firearms?

If a person has a Domestic Violence Restraining Order against them in San Diego, they might have to sell their guns, give them to the police to keep or find some other way to part with them until the Order is in effect. They will also be prevented from buying any more firearms during this time period.

Can a Restraining Order in San Diego force a person to leave their own home?

Yes, it’s possible. In a domestic violence case, the Restraining Order might require the accused to leave the home they share with the protected person. While this move can have significant and far-reaching consequences, a judge may issue such an order after reviewing the case details, the severity of the situation, and the evidence provided.

Can a judge in San Diego order the restrained individual to attend classes or to receive treatment?

Yes, it’s possible. The judge in a San Diego family court may order a person subject to a Restraining Order to participate in programs, such as short-term anger management courses or longer-term batterer's intervention sessions (lasting up to 52 weeks), depending on the type of abuse. Parenting classes may also be required in cases where children are involved.

How long do Restraining Orders usually last?

The maximum limit for Restraining Orders is five years; sometimes, it can be three years. Some orders will be measured in months if there are facts to justify them. Pertaining to this, if the protected person still feels threatened at the Order's expiration date, they can request an extension of the Restraining Order. A judge can grant an extension even on a 5-year order.

How long does it take on average to obtain a Restraining Order in San Diego?

Once the court receives your Restraining Order application, they have two business days to decide whether to grant your protection request. If the court grants your request, the judge will issue a temporary Restraining Order lasting up to three weeks or until your court hearing. The court will then decide whether to issue a permanent Restraining Order at the hearing.

Do I have to go to a family court in San Diego to obtain a Restraining Order?

Yes, you must approach a court to file for a Restraining Order request. If the other person is present for the hearing, you will also have to attend it in person. With that said, you don’t need to go there alone. Our skilled San Diego Restraining Order attorneys will be by your side to help you through the legal process and file the Restraining Order.

What if the judge in San Diego does not grant my request for a Restraining Order?

If the judge doesn’t grant your Restraining Order request, you can file a request for other types of emergency orders. Consult with our San Diego Restraining Order lawyer to determine the best course of action for your situation.

We are Ready to Protect the Domestic Violence Victims and Those Falsely Accused in San Diego

If you are in an abusive relationship, it is crucial to seek legal help and protection. You should never ignore domestic violence, as it can worsen over time and have severe, long-lasting impact on you and your children. Custody concerns also commonly arise in such situations, which exacerbate the problem.

At Moshtael Family Law, our San Diego domestic violence attorneys are here to help you. We have over 185 years of combined legal experience in family law and can assist you in obtaining a Restraining Order to protect you and your family or strongly fight any false allegations made against you by the other party.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, education, income, or resources. If you are experiencing abuse, please seek help today. Call our restraining order attorneys at 619-639-9898 or get in touch with us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Please call or contact our office online to arrange for an appointment about your case today.

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