If someone has filed for a restraining order against you, you may not know that there are multiple types of restraining orders in California with different processes and purposes. Knowing which type has been filed against you is key for preparing a defense.

No matter which type was filed, it’s highly recommended that you seek experienced legal help, as these cases are not only complicated but can be tremendously stressful. Your attorney can help you through the defense process and remove some burdens.

What Are the Primary Types of Restraining Orders in California?

California law puts restraining orders into four distinct categories.

Domestic Violence

Someone filing for a domestic violence restraining order is claiming that they’ve been abused by the person named in the order. This involves someone the claimant knows well, such as a partner, spouse, or close relative.

Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse

People who are 65 and older, or between 18 and 64 with mental or physical disabilities that make them dependent on others, can file for an elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order if they feel they have been the victim of physical or financial abuse, neglect or abandonment, behaviors that have physically or mentally hurt them, or been deprived by their caregiver of what they need not suffer physically, mentally, or emotionally.

Civil Harassment

People filing for this type of restraining order claim that they’re being harassed, stalked, or threatened by someone. That person is not well known to them, so it’s a separate category from domestic violence. This can involve acquaintances, roommates, neighbors, or less close relatives such as cousins.

Workplace Violence

A workplace violence restraining order is filed by an employer who has an employee who has been stalked, harassed, or has been a victim of a crime or threatened with violence at the workplace. These cannot be requested by the victim themselves, just the employer in an effort to protect the overall workplace.

How Long Do Restraining Orders Last?

Along with the four types of restraining orders, there are three different ways they can be handled, and how long they last depend on how they’re categorized.

Emergency Protective Order.

An emergency protective order, which in California can only be requested by a law enforcement office, is usually the first thing sought by someone claiming to be in danger. This is the fastest type of order, as there are judges who are on call 24 hours a day to handle requests for this type of order from law enforcement.

The judge looks specifically for one of these situations:

  • Child in danger from abuse or from potentially being abducted
  • Elderly person or dependent adult in immediate danger
  • Someone in danger from domestic violence
  • Someone who is being harassed by a stalker

If they find the law enforcement evidence and testimony compelling, the judge will issue the temporary order. Once issued, it goes into effect immediately and lasts one week (which is judged to be either five business days or seven calendar days). This is meant to provide enough time for the victim to apply for a temporary restraining order, followed possibly by a permanent restraining order.

What Is Restricted Under a Restraining Order?

There are a number of things that can be included in a restraining order. 

  • Personal conduct. These involve certain acts and behaviors that can no longer be allowed. That means the person named in the restraining order may not contact the alleged victim, threaten or attack them, disturb them in any way, or damage their property.
  • Stay-away orders. These dictate the physical distance the person must stay away from the alleged victim, usually 50-100 feet. 
  • Residence exclusion. These are also known as “kick-out” or “move-out” orders, because the person named in the order is legally forced to move out of the residence they share with the person requesting the order. These can only be applied for in domestic violence or elder/dependent adult abuse restraining order cases. 

What Should I Do if I Was Arrested for Not Identifying Myself?

Give us a call at 949-305-7995 to set up a free consultation. Restraining orders are serious matters that are best handled by legal professionals with experience in this area. The consequences can include losing your home, contact with your children, possibly being restricted from visiting certain places, and not being able to own a gun (which would mean surrendering any firearms owned before the order was issued). Because most restraining orders can end up on your criminal record which could hurt your chances of future employment or your ability to apply for things like rental housing, it’s in your best interest to put up a strong defense against it, and that’s something we can help you with. The sooner we can get started, the better.