San Diego Domestic Violence Restraining Order Lawyer
San Diego Domestic Violence Lawyer
A Restraining Order can protect you and your children from ongoing violence, threats and harassment. Timing is everything when it comes to domestic violence to ensure the safety of your family. Whether you need a San Diego domestic violence lawyer regarding a domestic violence restraining order (or a civil harassment restraining order), speaking to a family law expert like Kevin Lemieux early in the process will help determine the best path forward as you navigate the California family courts.
What is Considered Domestic Violence in the State of California?
Restraining orders are court orders, enforced by the police, to protect victims of domestic violence, and prevent abuse, threats and harassment. “Abuse” is not limited to actual infliction of physical injury—but includes:
- Destruction of property
- Harassing phone calls or texts
- Impersonating someone else
- Causing fear of harm or injury
- Child abuse or endangerment
This can include physical, emotional or psychological harm that can have lasting negative effects for the person suffering the abuse.
Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)
A restraining order between family members is called a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO).
These cases are heard in the family court—in all branches of the San Diego Superior Court. Violation of a DVRO results in the abuser’s arrest and can be defined as a dispute between any family member – husband and wife, parents and children, grandparents, couples living together or that are in a relationship.
If you have children with your abuser, you can get custody and visitation orders as part of your restraining order. You can also include the children as protected parties on the order. You can also get a “kick out order” which requires your abuser to leave the family home.
San Diego domestic violence lawyer Kevin Lemieux has litigated hundreds of domestic violence cases and has the experience needed to navigate the California family law court system.
Civil Harassment Restraining Order (CHRO)
A Civil Harassment Restraining Order is different from a Domestic Violence Restraining Order as it protects someone who is being threatened, harassed or abused by someone outside of their immediate family. This would be a stranger, neighbor, or other family members like aunts, uncles or cousins.
It’s important to speak with a San Diego Civil Harassment Restraining Order Lawyer like Kevin Lemieux to discuss your case and navigate the California court system, as he has done hundreds of times before.
How Long do Domestic Violence or Civil Harassment Restraining Orders Last?
This can vary and can range from a few days to multiple years. Each order is unique and determined by the issues and claims presented in the case and the type of order that is deemed appropriate will help dictate the length.
- An Emergency Protective Order is immediate if someone is deemed to be in immediate danger
- A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) lasts for a few weeks and is used to protect someone under “emotional distress” until the case can go to trial
- Finally, a Permanent Restraining Order (RO), or Order After Hearing is issued by a judge after the hearing if the victim needs ongoing protection from the accused
What is a Typical Court Procedure for Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in San Diego?
The court procedure for domestic violence restraining orders is outlined below:
- You fill out the proper court forms and include a sworn declaration of the facts. (Request for DVRO Packet)
- You file that packet and it will be brought to a family law judge that same day, who will decide if your DVRO will be granted temporarily
- If the judge grants you a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), there will be a court date set (roughly 21 days out) but the TRO goes into effect as soon as the judge signs the order and the abuser is served
- Now you must get the abuser served. The San Diego County Sheriff can assist and serve the abuser for free. You can go to their office in the courthouse once the judge signs your TRO, or anyone over the age of 18, who is not a party to the lawsuit can serve the abuser
- Once the Sheriff serves the abuser, he/she must follow the court order, or be subject to arrest. If there is a “kick out” order the sheriff will usually ensure that he/she leaves the family home
- FIREARMS—once the abuser is served, he/she may not legally possess any firearms or ammunition. These items can be turned over to the sheriff or arrangements made at a licensed gun store
- COURT—about 3 weeks later, you will have your court date. The judge will hear the abuser’s side of the story and hear from you as well. The judge will decide if the TRO will be dismissed, or extended for up to 5 years.
- Special Note—you must be ready to proceed with a trial on this date. The abuser can show up and request a trial. If the court has calendar space, it will happen right there. The judge may also give you a new trial date if the calendar is too busy that day.
- Also, the abuser has an automatic right to a continuance on this day. You do NOT have a right to continuance—so you must be ready to present your case. All normal rules of evidence and procedure apply in a TRO trial
Trial is when a lawyer is most valuable to your case since the rules of evidence and court procedures can be complex in the California family law courts. This is where you can leverage San Diego restraining order lawyer Kevin Lemieux’s 17 years of trial experience to litigate the case on your behalf.
Call the Law Office of Kevin Lemieux today for a free consultation to speak with a qualified San Diego domestic violence restraining order lawyer.