No one should have to live in fear of physical or sexual assault or emotional abuse. No one should have to worry about their children witnessing these things, or experiencing them. Domestic violence is a serious issue in California, and victims deserve help and protection.
As serious a problem as domestic abuse is, no one should have to live with the stigma of being falsely accused. Victims deserve to be believed, and false reports of domestic violence damage true victims as well as the people who are falsely accused.
Whether you have been a victim of domestic assault in California, or need to defend yourself against claims of abuse, Roberts & Zatlin will listen to you, advocate for you, and fight for a just outcome in your domestic violence matter.
California’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA) offers victims of domestic abuse restraining orders to prevent further abuse. A restraining order may be based on past violence or threatened acts of abuse. “Abuse,” as defined by the law, includes intentionally or recklessly causing or trying to cause physical harm, sexual assault, or placing someone in reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm to themselves or someone else.
Domestic violence restraining orders are available to the spouse of an abuser, a member of the accused abuser’s household, a romantic partner or ex-partner whether or not they live in the household, or a co-parent. A child or blood relative of the accused may also be protected.
Obviously, if you are in danger, you do not have the luxury of waiting days or weeks for a hearing on an order to protect you from an abuser. California courts allow for “ex parte” temporary restraining orders, which do not require formal notice to the other party. However, because domestic violence restraining orders may limit the rights of an accused abuser, these orders are valid for a short time, no more than 21 days, until a hearing can be scheduled with proper notice to the other party. If a judge sees fit to issue an ex parte temporary restraining order, it takes effect when it is served on the accused abuser.
In order to make a determination about issuing a domestic violence protection order for a longer period of time, the court will conduct a hearing of which all parties will have notice and an opportunity to appear. The court might make its decision based on papers the parties have filed with the court, or may take testimony in addition to reviewing filings. If the court finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there is an immediate danger of domestic violence, stalking, child abduction, child abuse, or elder/adult abuse, and an order of protection is necessary to prevent it, the court will issue a permanent restraining order. Unless the order states otherwise, in California a domestic violence protection order is effective for three years.
An order may require an abuser to stay away from certain places, to give up firearms, to pay restitution to a victim, or to do or not do certain other things. In order to make sure that a domestic violence protection order is fair, thorough, and protects your rights and safety, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side.
Attorney Kim Roberts concentrates her legal practice in California family law, including domestic violence matters. She has over 30 years of legal experience and has protected the rights and safety of numerous clients involved in domestic abuse cases. Kim stands up for clients when they are in jeopardy and is a powerful advocate at every stage of the legal process.
The Roberts & Zatlin Law Office, located in Murrieta, serves clients in Temecula, Menifee, Hemet, Sun City, Lake Elsinore, Winchester, Wildomar, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, Vista, San Diego, and throughout the Inland Valley. We invite you to contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns. We look forward to working with you.