Your Quick California Restraining Order FAQ

Serving Clients Throughout Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Napa Counties

Coronavirus has changed our lives in many frightening ways, from threatening our health and that of our loved ones to contributing to rising suicide rates, and new data suggests another disturbing trend: Stay home orders have caused a rise in domestic violence cases. Whether it is simply being reported more because victims can’t leave the house or being cooped up together is actually causing violence to rise, this is an alarming development. At Carroll Law Office, we are committed to your well-being. For that reason we decided to devote this blog post to answering common questions about California restraining orders. Let’s get started!

Do I have to be married to my abuser to take out a restraining order?

No! You do not need to be married to the person causing you harm in order to take out a restraining order against them. You do not have to be family in any way. You can take out a restraining order against your ex, your fiance, your boyfriend, or your girlfriend just as easily as if they were your spouse.

If I have a restraining order, can the person call me?

No. Your restraining order prohibits them from approaching you in person OR attempting to contact you. Violation of your restraining order can lead to their arrest.

What is the difference between a restraining order and a protective order?

Restraining orders and protective orders are very similar, but they have one key difference. You need a restraining order for issues related to family law, such as domestic violence. You need a protective order instead for issues involving crime. You might be asking, “But isn’t domestic violence a crime.” Yes — the distinction here can be a little confusing. If the person you are seeking protection from is currently or once was a part of your household, call it a restraining order.

Do restraining orders expire?

Yes. Temporary restraining orders (TROs) expire after a maximum of 25 days. Permanent restraining orders (which aren’t actually permanent) last up to five years, but can be renewed if you need continued protection.

I am in immediate danger and don’t have time to wait for a restraining order. What should I do?

If you are in an emergency situation facing immediate danger, please call 911. Police officers can diffuse the situation. They will typically also request a judge grant you an emergency restraining order, which will go into effect immediately. Emergency restraining orders only last seven days, but this gives you the time you need to request a longer lasting order.

Who can help me with filing for a restraining order and other legal measures to protect myself from a domestic violence situation?

The team at Carroll Law Office is here for you. We can help you get started by requesting a restraining order and find additional ways to protect you to the fullest extent of the law. We value your safety and your children’s safety. We hope that if you are in this terrible situation, you will reach out today and schedule a free consultation. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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