Violating a restraining order is usually a misdemeanor, but it can be charged as a felony. When charged as a misdemeanor, the client faces a maximum fine of $1,000 plus penalties and assessments and/or one year in county jail.
We believe that no person, such as a jealous ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, should be able to fabricate claims to gain an unfair advantage in a pending divorce or child custody proceeding, or worse yet, obtain a restraining order only to claim its violation to initiate a criminal case.
Often times, the underlying motive by the other party is to not only obtain a restraining order or protective order, but to then fabricate a violation of the order to have our client arrested, jailed and charged with a criminal violation of the order (Penal Code § 166(a)(4)).
The other motive may be to spitefully embarrass our client at work by serving him or her there in front of co-workers or to ruin his or her career because the CLETS (California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System) system will record the order and many employers do check this system before hiring someone.
We equally appreciate that if you are the victim of harassing phone calls, spousal abuse, stalking, intimidation or terrorist threats you need to protect yourself from continued or imminent harm. We will help you assemble your medical records, photographs, phone call records, text message, e-mails and letters or whatever is appropriate to help you obtain a court order to stop the threat.
We will help you obtain a restraining order or a reciprocal (or cross) restraining order that a court can issue to be in effect for three to five years and that local law enforcement will be notified of to protect you. We often ask for attorney fees to punctuate our opposition, although courts rarely make such awards.
Making phone calls to harass can also be charged as a violation of Penal Code § 653m, a misdemeanor.
When a client also visits the location of the protected person, perhaps simply parking his or her car outside and sitting in it for a few minutes, the client can be charged as a violation of Penal Code § 646.9, which is a felony.