How to Defend Against a Restraining Order Violation in CA
Violating a restraining order in California is a serious offense that can result in severe consequences, including jail time and hefty fines. If you've been accused of violating a restraining order, it's crucial to seek strong representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer, as they can assess the details of your case and determine the most effective defense strategy to employ on your behalf in court.
Keep reading to learn more about defending against restraining order violations in the state of California.
Understanding Restraining Orders in California
Restraining orders, also known as protective orders or stay-away orders, are issued by courts in California to protect victims of certain crimes, such as:
- Stalking and harassment
- Domestic violence
- Spousal abuse
- Sexual assault
- Other forms of mistreatment
A restraining order violation is known as a wobbler offense in California, meaning that defendants can face either misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the severity of the violation and the circumstances of the offense. Common examples of restraining order violations include:
- Entering the protected person’s residence or workplace without consent
- Damaging property belonging to the protected person
- Contacting the protected individual in person or online
- Threatening or assaulting the protected person
When defending against a restraining order violation in California, it's important to understand that prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly violated an existing court-ordered protective order.
Depending on the unique nature of your case, such as whether there were any witnesses present during the incident, your attorney may be able to argue that there is a lack of sufficient evidence to prove that you violated the restraining order altogether. In other cases, it may be possible to negotiate with the prosecutor for lesser charges, so long as you take accountability and demonstrate remorse for your actions.
3 Ways to Defend Against Restraining Order Violation Charges
While defending against a restraining order violation can feel like an uphill battle, it's not impossible. Still, it’s crucial for offenders to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
A trusted attorney can use their in-depth understanding of criminal law to aggressively defend your rights in court and work to eliminate or reduce life-altering penalties, such as jail time and the possibility of having the restraining order extended.
Consider these 3 common legal strategies to defend against a restraining order violation in California:
1. Lack of Intent
In some cases, your lawyer may decide to argue a lack of intent following a restraining order violation. In order for this strategy to be effective, you must demonstrate that you were unaware of the restraining order at the time of the violation and had no intention of breaking it. Essentially, defendants must prove that they believed their actions were allowed under the terms established by the restraining order.
Typically, criminal defense lawyers will use evidence such as witness testimonies, documents, and other relevant information to show that defendants had no knowledge or understanding of the restraining order. If there are any inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the prosecution's evidence, this can be used to demonstrate a lack of intent on behalf of the defendant.
2. Insufficient Evidence
Even if you knew about the restraining order and still violated it, your attorney might be able to argue that there isn't enough evidence linking you with the violation. If there are any inconsistencies or inaccuracies in the prosecution’s evidence, such as witness testimonies, your attorney can use these discrepancies to challenge elements of the case and reduce or eliminate charges entirely.
3. Negotiating Plea Bargains
In some cases, a criminal defense lawyer may negotiate with prosecutors on behalf of their client for lesser charges in exchange for pleading guilty or no contest before trial. This allows defendants to avoid more serious consequences while being held accountable for their actions and demonstrating remorse through appropriate sentencing requirements like community service or restitution payments.
Aggressive Representation to Restore Your Freedom
Because every criminal case is unique, it’s imperative to hire strong representation to protect your best interests in court. A trusted criminal defense attorney can use their comprehensive knowledge of California laws to guide defendants through what is sure to be an emotionally-charged case in court.
At the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, our team is here to fight for the favorable outcome you deserve. With over a decade of experience, our accomplished criminal defense lawyers are well-equipped to represent accused Californians in a range of criminal cases, from DUI defense to sex crimes. Reach out to the Bay Area’s top criminal defense law firm to learn how we can restore your freedom.
If you’ve been accused of a crime in California, you deserve aggressive representation to restore your freedom. Call (510) 907-6600 to schedule a consultation.