Domestic Violence Charges and Restraining Orders (CA Penal Code 273.5)

According to California Partnership to End Domestic Violence of Sacramento, at least 1 woman out of every 4 (and 1 man out of every 7) has experienced some type of physical abuse or violence by their intimate partner.  Although domestic violence is more common than you may think in all types of intimate partnerships, there are certain legal maneuvers that anyone either dealing with domestic violence, or has been accused of domestic violence charges or violating a restraining order (CA Penal Code 273.5). One such way in which the law assists those who are affected by domestic violence is the Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO).

In general, a restraining order is a legal document that is meant to protect individual persons from being harmed, whether this be physical harm, financial harm, or emotional harm.  Restraining orders can also protect you from being harassed or stalked.  A Domestic Violence Restraining Order, however, is a particular kind of restraining order.  You may ask for such a restraining order if the person who is harming you (or threatening to harm you) is someone that are or used to be intimate with (someone you are dating/dated or someone you are married to, separated from, or are divorced from).  You can even get a DVRO if the person harming or threatening you is also the parent of your child or that you simply live with.

Getting a DVRO means that you can legally order that an individual stay away from you, avoid contacting you, leave the place where you both live, and stay away from your workplace and car.  Such a restraining order can last for up to 5 years and it’s free to file, unlike other types of restraining orders.