What to Do In a Domestic Violence Situation?
In a domestic violence situation, it is important that you take proper and immediate action. Here is what to do:
Call the Police: Call 911 and report the incident to the police or law enforcement authorities.
Get to Safety: Find a way to get to safety. Leave the house, if you can, and find a place to stay. You can go to a safe place like a domestic violence shelter.
Seek Medical Care: Seek medical help and get your injuries and wounds treated.
Document the Abuse: Have your injuries photographed and documented. Obtain as much evidence as you can. This may be important to make your case in the police report or for child custody arrangements.
Obtain an Emergency Protective Order (EPO): An EPO is a type of restraining order that may be issued to order the abusive party to leave home and stay away from the victim and any children. The EPO starts immediately and can last for up to a week.
Hire an Attorney: A family law attorney can help you navigate the confusing and often intimidating restraining order process.
File for a Restraining Order: Your attorney can help you file court forms and other required documentation to obtain the restraining order. A temporary restraining order can be issued by the court on an emergency basis.
Type of Restraining Orders
There are several types of domestic violence restraining orders in California including:
Emergency Protective Order (EPO)
An EPO may be issued by a judge at the request of a law enforcement agency. This restraining order will compel the abusive party to leave home right away and stay away from the victim and any children for up to a week.
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)
Temporary restraining orders usually last between 20 and 25 days, or until the court hearing date. Obtaining a TRO requires the victim to go to court and fill out paperwork. If the judge believes that you need protection based on your story, a temporary restraining order may be issued and a hearing set approximately 21 days later for you to prove why the court should issue a permanent restraining order.
Permanent Restraining Order
A “permanent” restraining order may be issued by the judge after the scheduled court hearing. They generally last for up to five years but are often seen for one to three years. If you still fear for your safety, you may seek an extension of the restraining order before the expiration date.
Criminal Protective Order or “Stay-Away” Order
The district attorney may file criminal charges against the abuser in a domestic violence incident. Thus, a criminal protective order will be issued while the defendant is being prosecuted.
What a Restraining Order Can Do
A restraining order can order the restrained person to:
- Not contact or come near the victim, their children, relatives, or anyone living with them
- Stay away from the victim’s home, work, children’s schools, and pets
- Release or return certain property
- Move out of their home
- Follow child custody and visitation orders
- Pay child support, spousal support or alimony, and other bills
How an Experienced Family Law Attorney Can Help
In a situation involving threats, domestic violence, sexual assault, physical abuse, or harassment, a restraining order may be needed to protect the party involved. When seeking to obtain a restraining order, consulting with a knowledgeable California restraining order attorney is important. The Law Office of Shelly Jean John can provide you with the experienced legal guidance you need.
I am committed to offering outstanding legal services and strong representation in matters of domestic violence restraining orders. As your legal counsel, I will review your options and help you seek a restraining order to protect yourself and your children from repeat violence or abuse. We will work together to achieve your safety and well-being.