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Violation of Restraining Order Charges

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Mark Broughton > Violent Crimes > Violation of Restraining Order

What does it mean to violate a restraining order?

Penal Code 273.6 states that it is a crime to violate the terms or conditions of a restraining order. A restraining order is a court order meant to protect someone from harassment, physical abuse, stalking, or threats by a specific person. Restraining orders generally include refrainment of any contact with the protected person such as personal contact, phone calls or text messages, emails, social media interaction, or any surveillance.

Types of Restraining Orders

There are 4 types of restraining orders that are issued by the court:

  1. Domestic Violence – These are issued to help protect someone from abuse or threats of abuse from someone they have a close relationship with.
  2. Civil Harassment – These are issued to help protect someone from violence, stalking, serious harassment, or threats of violence. It cannot be used to restrain a spouse/partner or former spouse/partner, someone from a previous dating relationship, or a close relative. A civil harassment restraining order can be used against a neighbor, a roommate, a friend, a family member that is more than 2 degrees removed, or other people not related.
  3. Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse – Protects elderly people from physical or financial abuse, neglect or abandonment, physically or mentally harmful treatment, deprivation of basic things or services needed to not suffer physically, mentally, or emotionally. These can only be used by people 65 or older or by anyone 18-64 that have certain mental or physical disabilities preventing them from being able to do normal activities or protect themselves.
  4. Workplace Violence – Protects employees from suffering unlawful violence or threats of violence at the workplace.


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Emergency Protective Orders (EPO)

An Emergency Protective Order is usually given when someone is in danger of domestic violence. They are issued immediately by a judge that is “on-call” and are valid for 7 days. After the 7 days are up, a temporary or permanent restraining order will need to be in place to protect the individual.


Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO)

Temporary Restraining Orders usually last 2 or 3 weeks. They are issued when an Emergency Protective Order expires or when someone is a victim of harassment. Before a Temporary Restraining Order expires, a hearing will usually be held to possibly issue a permanent restraining order.

violation of restraining order

Permanent Restraining Orders (PRO)

A Permanent Restraining Order will be put in place if the person applying for the restraining order needs extended protection. The judge hears from the person applying for the restraining order and the person that is being restrained. The judge will then decide whether or not to issue the restraining order, what to include in the order, and how long it will last. A Permanent Restraining Order can last up to 3 years and can be extended if needed.

Penalties for Violation of Restraining Order

Violation of a restraining order is generally a misdemeanor. The penalties include:

  • A maximum fine up to $1,000
  • Up to one year in a county jail

In addition, a judge could require any of the following:

  • Mandatory counseling such as anger management, domestic violence classes, or substance abuse classes
  • Restitution to the victim for any counseling or medical expenses
  • Payment to a battered women’s shelter

Violation of a restraining order can become a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, when it is the second violation within 7 years or the victim suffers a physical injury. If charged as a felony, the penalties can include:

  • Felony probation
  • Up to 1 year in a county jail
  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in a California state prison
  • A maximum fine up to $10,000

Legal Defenses for Violation of Restraining Order

You have to intentionally violate a restraining order, so if you don’t even know about the restraining order then you can’t be culpable. This defense works best if you weren’t present in court when the restraining order was placed or wasn’t at the scene when an emergency protective order was issued.

It’s possible to violate a restraining order without the intent to do so. You could run into that person accidentally. It’s important to note that even if the person who ordered the restraining order contacts you and wants to see you, you cannot comply or you will be in violation of the restraining order. The judge has to terminate the restraining order.

If the person who ordered the restraining order contacts you wanted to see you, it can be used to set you up to be arrested for violation of the restraining order. That’s why it’s important to not comply with their wishes and wait for the judge to terminate the restraining order. False claims can also occur from the protected person lying out of anger, jealousy, or custody battles.

Have you been legally accused of violating a restraining order? If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, it is essential to obtain legal council for help. It’s important to take your charges seriously. Don’t just hope for the best. Hire an attorney who understands your situation and the consequences you face.

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Phone: 559-691-6222

Your Defense Attorney for Violation of Restraining Order Charges

I’m Mark A. Broughton and I’m here to fight for you. I have been a defense Attorney for 40+ years and have represented thousands of people accused of crimes. I have extensive experience representing citizens charged with Violent Crimes such as Assault, Great Bodily Injury, Domestic Violence, and Aggravated Assault to name a few.

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About Mark Broughton:

Compassionate, highly experienced, exceptional reputation, ethical and honest:

Mark Broughton has been practicing law for over 40 years. He estimates that he has conducted over 200 jury trials – everything from DUIs, drug cases, sex cases, domestic violence, assaults, “three-strikes,” dozens of cases involving criminal street gangs, gun/deadly weapons, drive-by shootings, robberies, attempted murders, and murders, including special circumstance murder cases.

He has received many outright Not Guilty verdicts for his clients in all of these types of cases, including several murder cases – at one time between 2005-2007, the jury found his clients Not Guilty in four separate cases in a row.

Mark Broughton is qualified as a death penalty lawyer and is on the special circumstances/death penalty panel of attorneys in Fresno, California, where he is regularly appointed to special circumstances/death penalty murder cases by the Fresno County Superior Court.

Other Qualifications:
  • Certified Specialist Criminal Law, State Bar of California
  • Board of Trustees, State Bar of California
  • Chairman, Fresno County Bar Association, Criminal Law Section

Mark Broughton enjoys close relationships with his clients.  He sees every individual’s situation with compassion and empathy and believes that every person has the right to a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty.

Above all, he enjoys helping reunite his clients and their families during and after dealing with perhaps the most difficult time in their lives, going through the challenging criminal process with them.

Practice Areas

  • Federal Crime 40%
  • White Collar Crime 20%
  • Violent Crime 20%
  • Criminal Defense 10%
  • Sex Crimes 10%

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