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Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order in California


If you have been accused of stalking, harassing or assaulting another person, they may take measures to file a restraining order against you—which is also known as a protective order or order for protection. In most cases, this court order will prohibit you from coming into contact with that person, being within a certain distance of them or their residence and/or possessing a firearm. While the specific details may vary from case to case, it is always true that intentionally violating the order could result in criminal charges. Depending on the nature of the violation and the number of times that you have been convicted for this offense, you could either be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony—the penalties for which may include, but are not limited to, the following:

First Restraining Order Violation

  • Typically, a first-time restraining order violation will be prosecuted as a misdemeanor. This could result in up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, but the judge will generally hand down a more lenient sentence if the violation was not violent in nature.

Second Restraining Order Violation

  • If you are convicted of a second restraining order violation within seven years, and the violation involved an act of violence or credible threat, the case could be prosecuted as a felony. This could result in up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

If you have been accused of violating a protective order in California, you should not hesitate to get in touch with a Solano County criminal defense attorney at Maas and Russo as soon as possible. Not only could you be facing time in jail, but your reputation could be irreparably damaged. Even if you did not intend to violate the terms and conditions of the restraining order, you could still be convicted. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you entrust your case to a skilled legal professional as soon as any such allegations are made against you. In doing so, you may be able to build an effective legal defense against your charges. The good news is that it would be an affirmative defense to prosecution under California Penal Code § 273.6 that:

  • The judge did not legally issue the restraining order
  • You were unaware of the restraining order
  • You did not intend to violate the restraining order
  • You were falsely accused of violating the order

If you are interested in finding out how a Solano County criminal defense lawyer from Maas and Russo can help you fight these charges, contact our firm today for a free consultation. You can either call at (800) 483-0992 or submit a free case evaluation form online.