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3 Types of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in CA


If you have been arrested for a domestic violence offense in California, not only do you face harsh criminal penalties if convicted, but you may also be subject to a restraining order filed against you. Also known as a protective order or order of protection, a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) can order abusers not to contact the alleged victim and their loved ones, come within a certain distance of those parties, and purchase/possess/own a firearm. A DVRO can also give alleged victims temporary child custody and visitation, remove abusers from their homes, and make them pay the victims’ legal fees. 

The following are the three types of DVROs in California: 

  • Emergency protective order (EPO) – When the courts are closed in the late evenings or during the weekends, this type of restraining order can be obtained by a police officer, who can call a judge and request the order on behalf of the alleged victim. If a judge believes there is an imminent or present danger of domestic violence or child abuse, an EPO will be issued. Judges are available 24/7 to issue EPOs any time of day or night. An EPO is valid for seven (7) days, which is enough time for the victim to request a temporary protective order (TRO). 

  • Temporary restraining order (TRO) – If the judge believes the victim is in imminent danger and needs immediate protection, then a TRO will be issued and last for 20 to 25 days, essentially until the court hearing to obtain a “permanent” restraining order.  

  • “Permanent” restraining order – At this court hearing, both parties have an opportunity to present each side of the story and provide evidence. If the judge sides with the alleged victim, the restraining order will last for a maximum of five (5) years. When the restraining order is no longer valid, the victim can request a new protective order. 

If you are facing criminal charges and a restraining order for a domestic violence arrest, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend yourself inside and outside the courtroom. At Appel & Morse, our legal team of former prosecutors has more than 40 years of collective experience protecting the rights and freedoms of clients in Santa Barbara and throughout the surrounding area. 

Call (805) 467-6060 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation. 

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