If you have been served with a restraining order (also sometimes referred to as a protective order), you likely have a lot of questions. While an experienced criminal defense lawyer can answer each and every one of your queries, the aim of this article is to address one of the most commonly asked questions: what can a restraining order do? However, please keep in mind that each restraining order is different and that the possible effects discussed below may or may not be applicable in your case.
The Possible Effects
The effects of a restraining order vary slightly depending on which type of protective order (i.e. civil harassment, domestic violence, elder/dependent adult abuse, or workplace violence restraining order) has been issued against you. However, judges often order restrained people:
- Not to contact the protected person or any member of their household
- To stay away from the protected person, their children, or any member of their household
- Not to go near the protected person’s work and/or school
- To stay away from the protected person’s children’s school
- To move out of the residence that they share with the protected person
- To attend domestic violence and/or anger management counseling sessions
- Not to have a firearm
Additionally, the effects of a restraining order can extend beyond what the issuing judge specifically prohibited you from doing. For example, individuals who are required to carry a gun for work may experience serious professional setbacks if there is a restraining order in effect against them that prohibits them from having a firearm. Additionally, if you are not an American citizen then having a restraining order issued against you may impact your immigration status.
Furthermore, regardless of your immigration statute, the fact that a restraining order has been issued against you is generally a matter of public record, which means that it will pop up every time someone (including a potential employer) does a background check on you.
How Long Can a Restraining Order Remain in Effect?
The amount of time that a restraining order can remain in effect varies greatly depending on the type of protective order issued. For example, an emergency protective order can only be in effect for one week, a temporary restraining order lasts until a hearing can be scheduled (which generally takes approximately 20 to 25 days), and a permanent restraining order can last three to five years (and can be renewed).
Let Us Assist You with Your Case
If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco for help in defending against these charges.
Thanks to the Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and your constitutional rights.