Law Offices of Kenneth H. Lewis
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Are Restraining Orders Permanent?

There are a variety of different restraining orders used in California. Some restraining orders stem from criminal activity; others are civil in nature and attempt to stop dangerous or harassing actions before any further or future harm can befall a party. Regardless of the specific kind of restraining order, their effects are always serious upon the restrained person and the length of time they are in force is critical. Even though they can be referred to as “permanent orders” they will usually have a limited time they are in effect, though they can be extended under certain circumstances.

The Usual Length of Restraining Orders

Most restraining orders have a typical length of duration. Here are the common kinds of restraining orders and their usual maximum expiration dates.

Temporary Restraining Order: Up to 3 Weeks

A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is a short-term order granted by a court usually without any kind of hearing in order to protect the parties from one another, i.e. keep the status quo, until a full hearing can be held and the judge can see who is telling the truth and whether a permanent order should be granted. The common types of restraining orders are a Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO), Civil Harassment Restraining Order (CHRO), a Workplace Violence Restraining Order (WVRO) and an Elder Abuse Restraining Order (EARO). There must be reasonable grounds to believe someone is in danger, threatened or harassed before a TRO can be granted, though the standard of proof varies depending on what type of order is sought. Additionally, a TRO can be filed without the accused knowing about it if the moving party alleges that it would invoke violence to tell the other party it is being sought. If the hearing on the permanent order is continued for some reason, the TRO can be extended until the hearing is actually held.

Domestic Violence Restraining Order: Up to 5 Years

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVRO) are issued between spouses, former spouses, cohabitants, dating couples, family members and those who have a child together. These restraining orders are used to protect someone from domestic violence, physical abuse, threats of abuse, stalking, or sexual assault conduct. It must be proven by a “preponderance of the evidence,” i.e., 51%. It is the easiest standard to meet.

Civil Harassment Restraining Order: Up to 3 Years

A Civil Harassment Restraining Order (CHRO) is issued against people who do not fall under the Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) category. A CHRO can be made for the same reasons as a DVRO but is more difficult to obtain because it must be proven by “clear and convincing evidence.”

Workplace Violence Restraining Order: Up to 3 Years

When an employee suffers unlawful acts or threats of violence in the workplace, the business owner may file a Workplace Violence Restraining Order (WVRO) on behalf of the employee. These restraining orders can only be enacted by employers for the benefit of employees. It requires a “clear and convincing” standard of proof.

Criminal Protective Order: Up to 10 Years

A Criminal Protective Order is created by a judge at the request of a prosecutor in ongoing domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and threatened violence cases. These orders are served at the accused’s first court appearance, also known as an Arraignment and can be made part of any final settlement or conviction to protect the victim from future violence.

As you can see, California restraining orders will usually end automatically on their own at some point; however, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to fight against these orders and have them limited in duration.

Want to fight your restraining order? Call {F:P:Site:Phone} now for a free consultation for your case!