In California, a judge can issue a Criminal Protective Order to protect a witness or victim of a crime. This is often done when someone is arrest on allegations of domestic violence. The restrained party will be required to stay away from the protected party. A Criminal Protective Order is often issued after an Emergency Protective Order.
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California Criminal Protective Order
Obtaining a Criminal Protective Order
To obtain a criminal protective order, you, the protected party, must provide sufficient evidence to the District Attorney to prove that you have been harmed, placed in fear, or threatened. The District Attorney will then file a case on behalf of the People of the State of California. If the District Attorney declines to file charges against the other party, you can still obtain either a Civil Protective Order or a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.
What is the Effect of a Criminal Protective Order?
The court can order law enforcement within its jurisdiction to protect you and your immediate family members who live with you which may include family members who live reasonably close to your home.
When is a Criminal Protective Order Issued?
When the defendant has been charged with a crime and appears in court for the first time, a decision will be made about the Protective Order. The defendant is then served with a copy of this Protective Order and the court electronically transmits the information to law enforcement.
What Do I Do If the Defendant Does Not Follow the Order?
If the defendant does not follow the order, call the police immediately. The restrained person can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, or a contempt of court.
How Do I Get the Judge to Change My Criminal Protective Order?
Either the protected person or the restrained person (defendant) can request that the requirements in the criminal protective order be changed. You can request that the level of protection be increased or decreased. To do so, you must file a Petition for Modification of the Criminal Protective Order after which time, a hearing date will be set and the parties will be notified to appear by the clerk. Each party has the right to attend and oppose the Petition.
Guns and Firearms
The judge may order that the restrained person not own, possess, buy or try to buy, receive or try to receive, or otherwise get a gun while the criminal protective order is in effect. If a restrained person violates this order, it can result in a jail term and/or a $1,000.00 fine. The restrained person must sell to a licensed gun dealer or turn in to a law enforcement agency any guns or other firearms that he/she has or control in accordance with the order of the court. If the restrained person does not obey the court order, he or she can be charged with a crime. The court may set a review hearing to determine whether the defendant has complied with the requirements to relinquish the firearm(s). At the hearing the defendant has the opportunity to give information to refute that he or she owns any firearms or to show that he or she has complied with the requirement to relinquish those firearms. If the defendant fails to appear for the hearing, a warrant may be issued for his or her arrest.
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