Violation of a restraining order is a serious criminal offense with punishment that can include serving your time in prison and paying thousands in fines.
A defendant who violates this law could also lose their right to carry firearms, as well as their parental and spousal rights. Additionally, the accused defendant can also lose rights over some of their properties.
What does Penal Code 273.6 say about restraining orders or protective orders?
In California, the court may impose a restraining order for various reasons. A protection order, also known as a restraining order, is a court order that prevents one person from being intimidated, stalked, assaulted, or harassed by another person. A protection order may be issued against a person if the alleged victim can prove that the other person has put them in a situation where they have a legitimate fear of being hurt by their words or actions.
In most cases, a restraining order is a barrier to keep the petitioner away from people they feel intimidated or harassed by.
There are different types of restraining orders that courts can issue because each requires the petitioner to highlight factors on which the order can be granted. However, domestic violence cases are one of the major reasons why people may seek protective and restraining orders.
According to Penal Code 273.6:
“any intentional and knowing violation of a protective order…is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.”
To convict you of violating a protective order, the prosecution must prove the following:
- A judge issued a lawful order
- The defendant knew of the protective order
- The defendant intentionally and knowingly violated the order
The defendant may have a strong defense if charged with a crime if the restraining order was not lawfully issued or if the defendant was unaware of the restraining order. This might happen when the defendant wasn’t properly notified of the hearing and was unaware that a restraining order had been issued as a result.
The defendant would not also be charged with this crime if he/she did not intentionally violate the protective order. For instance, the defendant might unintentionally cross paths with the protected individual when out in public or in another improbable circumstance. If charged with a crime in these situations, the defendant would have a strong defense.
Penalties for violation of Penal Code 273.6
A first offense for violating this law is a misdemeanor which can result in 1) up to 1 year in jail, 2) a fine of up to $1000 (or both), 3) court-ordered additional fines of up to $5000 paid to a shelter, and 4) compensation to the petitioner for costs like counseling.
Additionally, as a condition of probation, judges may order the offender to attend anger management or domestic violence counseling. Further offenses may result in felony charges.
Anyone with a restraining order against them forfeits their ability to legally own or possess a firearm. The defendant may be subject to further criminal charges and punishment if it is proven that they were in possession of a firearm.
If you have been charged with violating a protective order or have been served with notice of a protective order hearing, it is important that you meet with a California Criminal Defense Attorney right away. California’s Criminal Defense Heroes have over a decade of criminal defense experience and are highly skilled at fighting restraining orders and defending those who have been charged with violating these orders.
For more information about California’s restraining or protective order laws and to schedule your free consultation, contact the Criminal Defense Heroes, P.C., at (323)529-3660 or email us at [email protected].