You and your spouse got into a heated argument over the weekend. Things escalated, and your shouting match led to you both saying things you wish you could take back. Maybe you punched a wall or broke a glass. Now you’re wondering if there’s a chance they could use this incident against you legally – by filing for a restraining order.
Do you have cause for concern? Here’s what you need to know:
A domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) is a protective order issued by the court that is intended to shield someone from abuse. Under California law, “abuse” refers to:
- Causing – or attempting to cause – bodily injury to someone
- Sexually assaulting someone
- Causing someone to have reasonable fear of bodily injury to themselves or someone else
It’s worth understanding that abuse can include situations where no physical injury was inflicted. Threats of abuse can also be conveyed through other means – such as phone calls, emails and the destruction of property. You want to have your situation in good hands. Be proactive and contact the Premier Domestic Violence Law Group at (619) 736-3375.
Who can file for a DVRO?
The law restricts those who can file DVROs to people who are either close family members or those who are/have been in a romantic relationship with the accused. This includes the following:
- Current or former spouse
- Current or former romantic partner
- Child, sibling, parent, grandparent or in-law
- Current or former cohabitant
Note that not all cohabitants may file for a DVRO. The person must regularly reside in the household and have a close, interpersonal relationship with the accused. A person who simply sublets a room in the common home would not necessarily qualify.
Do you have recourse?
A DVRO is serious. It goes on your criminal record and can hurt your ability to get a job, a loan or a professional license. It could also result in you losing your parental rights.
It’s important to understand that if someone petitions to get a restraining order against you, you have the right to fight the order. Simple allegations are not enough to have this order filed against you. An experienced domestic violence attorney can examine your case, work to establish that the petitioner does not meet the burden of proof necessary for a DVRO and help you get the order denied. You want to have your situation in good hands. Be proactive and contact the Premier Domestic Violence Law Group at (619) 736-3375.