Difference Between Restraining Orders & Emergency Protective Orders

Difference Between Restraining Orders & Emergency Protective Orders

Posted By Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich || 6-Sep-2016

It is crucial for a person who has been harmed by domestic violence, or has reason to believe they could be harmed by it eventually, to seek help and get some space between them and the offender. In California, there are two common solutions: restraining orders and emergency protective orders (EPO). Depending on the unique situation a person is facing, they may require one or the other, or possibly even both.

To determine which one you need, it helps to know the differences between them:

  1. Restraining order: A judge or an authorized family law court can accept and approve filings for restraining orders from those who have been abused by domestic violence. The process begins with the issuance of a temporary restraining order but it may become permanent if the court is convinced of its necessity; a court date will be set to determine whether or not to issue a permanent restraining order, and the accused may be there to defend themselves. A restraining order will generally bar the offender from going to certain places at certain times, to maintain a minimum distance from the accuser, to leave their shared home, turn in any guns until the case concludes, and reinforce spousal support or child support orders.
  2. Emergency protective order: When a law enforcement officer witnesses domestic violence or can clearly see evidence of it after responding to a call, they can remove the abused individual from the situation and immediately request an emergency protective order from a judge. An EPO uses the same physical and territorial stipulations as a restraining order but only persists for a few days at most. If it is shown that the officer made the right call and there was the threat or presence of domestic violence, a court hearing will be scheduled the date the EPO expires; during this hearing, a judge will decide how to extend the EPO into a restraining order and what that order should control.

Help for Both Sides of the Issue

Restraining orders and emergency protection orders are part of a delicate and sensitive legal process, for there are two sides to every story of domestic violence. Misunderstandings, exaggerations, and complete fabrications can be the basis of a domestic violence claim if the accuser is looking for a fast and effective way to harm the wellbeing of their spouse or ex-spouse. Of course, many more situations do include real danger, and the accuser must be protected.

At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, we are highly-experienced when it comes to domestic violence cases and have the ability to represent you no matter where you stand. Our Murrieta criminal defense attorneys can help you if you have been accused, or our Riverside family lawyers can assist you in filing for a restraining order. Just call 951.506.6654 for a free consultation to learn more about our services.