We’ve posted many articles on domestic violence in this blog because it is such a common crime in Southern California. We’ve even posted a basic Frequently Answered Questions article covering topics like what is domestic violence and who is protected by this law, but this barely scratches the surface of the many questions Vista domestic violence lawyer Peter M. Liss is asked on a regular basis, especially on the topic of restraining orders.
Are Domestic Violence Arrests Mandatory?
A lot of people wonder if police have to make an arrest when called in for a domestic violence situation. While the answer is technically no, the reality is that if police find any evidence that either party committed an assault, they will make an arrest. In fact, they almost always do make an arrest, even if the alleged victim objects.
One thing that frequently surprises people is how often the police will actually arrest both people because they believe both parties may be guilty of domestic violence and they cannot determine who was the aggressor. Many people arrested for the crime are particularly surprised because they were the ones who called the police in the first place. If this happened to you, it may add to your defense if you and your Vista domestic violence attorney decide to argue that you only acted in self defense.
Is there Always a Restraining Order?
When police make a domestic violence arrest, they may issue an emergency restraining order at the request of the alleged victim, which requires the accused abuser to avoid contact with the alleged victim for 7 days. It is up to the victim to file for a temporary restraining order after that period. If someone tries to obtain a temporary restraining order against you, you can fight it in court with the help of a Vista restraining order defense lawyer.
Can I Go Home With a Restraining Order in Place?
When a restraining order is issued, you will need to leave your home (assuming you and the alleged victim live together) for the duration of the order. However, the court will give you an opportunity to enter your home under observation of law enforcement officials in order to retrieve your stuff. This is usually a one-time order and if there are any disputes as to who owns belongings you attempt to take with you, you will not be allowed to take them.
I Have a Restraining Order Against Me, Can I See My Kids?
This is something that should be addressed in court when the restraining order is issued. In some cases, there may be exceptions in the restraining order for you to have temporary contact with the protected party in order for child visitation to occur, but this must be addressed at the hearing. If the restraining order does not specifically allow for you to see your children, you cannot violate it in order to do so.
Some of these cases turn into divorces or child custody battles and the custody issues have to be settled in Family Court. A domestic violence conviction will, however, prevent someone from having custody of their children.
How Can I Avoid Breaking a Restraining Order?
Avoiding someone completely can be difficult, even in a massive county like San Diego. That’s why the court allows you to defend yourself if you have been accused of violating a restraining order. Intent is important in this crime, so if you accidentally showed up somewhere without knowing your ex was there, you are not guilty of violating the restraining order.
That being said, do not be fooled into thinking that the restraining order no longer matters because the alleged victim contacts you. If your ex starts to contact you, you can still be charged with violating a restraining order if you reply or return to your home. If your ex is contacting you, call your lawyer to discuss bringing this information to the judge as it might be enough to get the restraining order lifted.
If you have been accused of a crime like these, a Vista criminal lawyer specializing in domestic violence and restraining orders can help you fight the charges. Please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.