Victims of domestic abuse can have a protective order (also called a restraining order) imposed on their alleged abuser. The protective prevents the offender from contacting the victim in any way, whether in person, over the phone, or via text.
In fact, in some cases, the victim doesn’t even need to petition the court for the order. If the police respond to a call and suspect domestic violence, they get an order through the court without any action by the victim.
The State of California takes domestic violence very seriously and imposes serious penalties for violating a protective order.
Criminal consequences for violating a protective order
In California, offenders that violate a protective order are as follows:
- First violation: First violations are charged as misdemeanors, and offenders are subject to jail time up to a year and maximum fines of $1,000.
- Second violation: Second violations are usually charged as a felony, with offenders potentially subject to three years prison and fines up to $10,000.
A criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights
Being charged with a serious crime, such as violating a protective order, can upend your life. Even if you avoid jail, you may be stuck with serious fines and irreparable damage to your reputation. It may also be difficult to find a job and rent an apartment with a conviction on your record.
Considering the stakes, having the right legal representation is critical. An experienced criminal defense attorney can ensure your rights are acknowledged and identify flaws in the prosecution’s case.
Tulare, California, residents shouldn’t hesitate to reach out. If cost is a concern, many lawyers offer a free initial consultation at no out-of-pocket cost to the client.