Violation of Order

V

IOLATION OF ORDER

Violating a protective order, sometimes called a “restraining order,” amounts to contempt of court and is a criminal offense under California Penal Code 273.6. Judges can issue protective orders in connection with both criminal and civil cases. Judges frequently issue protective orders in connection with California domestic-violence related offenses. Even if the order was issued in a civil case setting, a violation of the order is still a crime.

In order to convict a defendant of violating a civil protective order, the prosecutor must prove:

  1. There was a valid protective order in place that was legally issued by a judge;
  2. The defendant had knowledge of the protective order’s existence and terms; And
  3. The defendant intentionally violated the terms of the order.


P

ENALTIES

Protective order violations are usually charged as misdemeanor offenses, which carry penalties of up to one year in county jail, probation, fines of up to $1000. The crime can be charged as a felony under certain circumstances, depending on whether the defendant has previously been convicted of violating a protective order and whether the alleged violation resulted in any injuries to the victim. If charged as a felony, the penalties can be even more severe, including time in state prison, and fines of up to $10,000.


D

EFENSES

There are several effective defenses to charges of violating a protective order:

  • You did not know that there was a protective order in place
  • Your alleged actions in violating the order were not intentional
  • False accusation.

Furthermore, the prosecutor must meet the heavy burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. In the absence of corroborating evidence, the case may be reduced to a “he said, she said” situation, which the prosecutor may have a difficult time meeting this burden of proof.


V

ALUE OF REPRESENTATION

A conviction for a misdemeanor or felony becomes part of your criminal record, which can have a serious impact on your life. For example, the court can consider your prior conviction and impose a harsher sentence if you are convicted of a crime in a new case. Not to mention, a criminal record, even a misdemeanor conviction, can hurt you when you are looking for a job or applying to rent a house or apartment.

The attorney at the Law Office of Brett Parker Davison has extensive knowledge of the system and can begin building a strategy for your defense immediately. We highly encourage you to contact us to schedule a free consultation of your case at (909) 480-8094!