Roseline D. Feral

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

Family Law Attorney Serving San Diego and Surrounding Communities

Domestic violence is a serious problem in Southern California. If you have been or are in a relationship in which abuse has played a role, it is important to seek help and protection from a San Diego restraining order lawyer. Roseline D. Feral understands that these situations are difficult for everyone involved, and she can handle a matter involving a domestic violence restraining order with the utmost compassion and diligence.

Understanding the Function of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order

Domestic violence includes abuse or threats of abuse when the individual being abused and the alleged abuser are or have been in an intimate relationship, such as being married, being domestic partners, dating or having previously dated, living or having lived together, or having had a child together. It also includes situations when the abused person and the allegedly abusive person are closely related by either blood or marriage.

The California law on domestic violence defines abuse as physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, committing a sexual assault, or making someone reasonably fearful that they or someone else are about to be seriously harmed. Behavior such as harassment, stalking, threatening or hitting someone, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, or property destruction is also considered domestic violence. More specifically, abuse may also encompass kicking, shoving, pulling hair, throwing things, or following the victim.

Domestic violence restraining orders may be sought on a temporary basis without notice to the other party. This happens by filing a request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) with the Family Court. If the judge believes that you are at risk of harm, they will grant you a TRO. It is relatively straightforward to obtain a TRO. In other words, the evidentiary standard for obtaining a TRO is not demanding, and as long as there is some reasonable basis for the request, the court will typically grant it.

If the court issues the TRO, it will set a hearing within approximately 21 days to determine if a permanent restraining order is needed in your case. Once the TRO is issued, the documents detailing it will be served on the restrained party. That person then has an opportunity to file a response or “answer” to the request for a restraining order.

At the hearing, the restrained party has a chance to dispute the allegations against them. If the court determines by “clear and convincing evidence” that domestic violence or the threat of domestic violence is present, a permanent restraining order (PRO) will be issued. It is important to note that the “clear and convincing” standard is a relatively high standard of proof. It requires the person seeking the order to prove that the allegations are substantially more likely than not to be true.

“Permanent” in this context does not mean that the PRO will last forever. Instead, a PRO may last up to five years. If the PRO does not list a termination date, it will expire three years from the date that it was issued. The judge has discretion to issue the PRO for any amount of time that they deem appropriate. When the PRO is about to expire, the protected person may request that the court renew the order. At that time, the court will re-examine the issues and make a decision accordingly.

Protect Your Safety by Consulting a Domestic Violence Lawyer in San Diego

If you are considering obtaining a domestic violence restraining order, you should not delay in reaching out to a capable San Diego attorney who can help guide you through the process. Our firm can explain your options to you and stand by your side during the entire case. Roseline D. Feral represents individuals in Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Jolla, Oceanside, Escondido, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Valley Center, and Vista, among other cities. For a free consultation, you can contact us online, call our office at 619-232-1010, or call Attorney Feral at 619-301-1191. She also can represent people who are seeking a family law attorney or a criminal defense lawyer.