Enforcement of Domestic Violence Protection Orders
It is crucial that people take legal action if they have been abused especially if the abuser is a spouse, ex-spouse or partner. Domestic violence and civil harassment are serious offenses and victims can seek legal protection from abusers. Victims should contact a family law attorney experienced in helping domestic violence victims.
Fast legal protection against further family violence is possible with the help of a family law attorney.
About Domestic Violence and Civil Harassment
While most people are familiar with the meaning of domestic violence, civil harassment may be less known. Both are illegal behavior that involves either physical violence or verbal harassment. The law applies one or the other to a situation depending upon the relationship between the victim and perpetrator. Domestic violence is applied when the parties are in a relationship such as marriage, dating, or are family members. Civil harassment is applied to all other situations in which the parties are not related or in relationships. The burden of proof is greater in civil harassment cases.
When to Get a Restraining Order
For maximum protection under the law, domestic violence victims should get a restraining order as soon as possible. The purpose of the order is to make it illegal for abusers to contact victims in any way. Restraining orders typically require a specified physical distance be maintained at all time between victims and abusers. This means that abusers are not permitted to visit victims homes, workplaces, or any other place the victims is expected to be at a given time. Abusers who violate restraining orders face legal consequences including greater restrictions, fines, and jail time.
California law covers different types of restraining orders. A family law attorney can help victims with their legal options and make sure they have a full understanding on how restraining orders will affect their lives and potentially those of family members. The attorney will represent victims in court to get a judge to approve requests for restraining orders for domestic violence and civil harassment situations. Once awarded, the attorney makes sure enforcement of penalties take place in cases where the orders are violated.
When to Contest a Restraining Order
Family law attorneys also represent individuals who receive the restraining orders. Not all allegations of domestic violence or civil harassment are true. In fact, many claims are fabricated when couples are going through a divorce. One spouse may use the claim as a way to gain custody of children because the law requires the court to presume anyone accused of domestic violence should not get custody.
While it is possible for an individual falsely reported to be an abuser to contest a restraining order, there is a small window of time in which to do so. If you have been falsely charged as part of a custody strategy, family law attorneys can help get the order vacated and the charges dismissed.