California law uses the terms ‘restraining order,’ ‘protective order,’ and ‘stay away order’ interchangeably.  If the court issues one of these orders against you, and you contact the person it forbids you to contact, you can get charged under California Penal Code 273.6 PC. The criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of David Lehr in Ventura, California can help you fight these charges.

273.6 PC Violating a restraining order

Violating a restraining order is a misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for a conviction under 273.6 PC is one year in jail. Many defendants convicted of this offense must also pay a fine and complete mandatory counseling. If it is a repeat offense and the previous conviction was less than seven years ago, then violation of a restraining order is a wobbler offense, which prosecutors can charge as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Restraining orders, and the violation thereof, can occur in many situations, only some of which involve domestic violence. These are ways that violation of a restraining order can occur in domestic violence cases, resulting in criminal charges:

  • A man repeatedly shows up at his ex-girlfriend’s house unannounced after they break up, even after she gets a restraining order.
  • A woman gets a restraining order requiring her husband’s ex-wife not to go within 100 feet of her, but she goes to the couple’s door.
  • A father who is forbidden to contact his children because of domestic violence against their mother shows up at their school.
  • A man accused of elder abuse against his mother repeatedly calls her after she moves in with other relatives, per the court’s orders.
  • A woman repeatedly shows up at her ex-boyfriend’s workplace, pretending to be a customer, after he gets a stay away order.

Violating a restraining order that forbids you to contact your ex-spouse, ex-partner, or a family member can have serious consequences. The penalties can add up to a lot more than one year in jail if you are also accused of other domestic violence-related offenses, such as domestic battery or making criminal threats. You can reduce the possibility of jail time if your criminal defense lawyer can get the case against you dismissed or can drop or reduce some charges in a plea deal.

When you plead innocent in a criminal case, you have the opportunity to present defenses to persuade the jury of your innocence. You can only be convicted if the jury finds you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. These are some defenses people sometimes use against charges of violating a restraining order:

  • You did not know that you would encounter the victim. For example, you went to a restaurant but did not know that your ex-girlfriend had started working there after you broke up.
  • Someone used your cell phone and called your ex without your knowledge. For example, your young child was playing with the phone and accidentally pressed your ex’s name in your contact list.
  • Your ex is fabricating the story about you violating the restraining order. You have never been to your ex’s house or workplace since the court issued the restraining order.

You have the right to a fair trial and to due process. The best way to ensure that the court respects your rights is to hire a criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of David Lehr in Ventura, California.

If you have been charged with 

violating a restraining order, call 805-477-0070.  

We can provide you with a free case review.

The best way to achieve a successful outcome in your case is to contact the Law Offices of David Lehr in Ventura, California. Your lawyer will give you sincere advice and act in your best interest. The information on this web page is not a substitute for engaging the services of a lawyer. No lawyer can honestly promise to get you the outcome you want in a criminal case.  Visiting this web page does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Contact the Law Offices of David Lehr in Ventura, California to schedule a consultation.

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