What is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?
A domestic violence restraining order, also known as a “DVRO” for short, is an order issued by the Court to protect people if there are allegations of abuse or threats of abuse that have been raised.
A DVRO is a very serious matter, and can have a negative impact on your life. For example, the DVRO can be used to make the following orders against you:
- No contact or communication with the person requesting the DVRO;
- Prevent you from possessing a gun or firearm, while the DVRO is still in effect;
- Require you to move out of your home;
- Order a specific schedule for custody and visitation of your child/children, or order that you not see your child/children at all;
- Require you to pay monthly child support;
- Require you to pay monthly spousal or partner support (only if you are married or in a domestic partnership);
- Prevent you from being around your pets;
- Compel you to pay certain bills; or
- Release or return certain property.
What do You do when you Receive a DVRO that has been Filed Against You?
The first step is to carefully read all of the paperwork that you receive. In that paperwork, review a form labeled “Temporary Restraining Order” (Form DV-110) which will have the specific details of the order that has been placed against you.
It is very important that you stay away from all of the people and places that are listed on that form, and obey all of the other orders listed on that form. If you disobey the order, you can go to jail or be fined.
If the order is requiring you to move out of your home, take the clothes and belongings that you will need until the scheduled court date, and move out of the home.
If a DVRO is placed against you, you CANNOT own or possess a gun or firearm of any kind, while the DVRO is in effect. If you have a gun or firearm of any kind, you must either immediately turn it in to the police or sell it to a gun dealer as soon as possible. For more information about this issue, read the “How Do I Turn in or Sell My Firearms?” Information Form provided by the Court (Form DV-800-INFO).
If you disobey any of the orders listed on the DVRO, you can go to jail or be fined.
How to Respond to a DVRO Filed Against You?
In order to respond to a DVRO, you must file a Response Form (Form DV-120) with the Court. In this Form, you will be able to detail to the Court your side of the story about what happened, and to address any allegations of abuse or threats of abuse made against you. The Response also gives you an opportunity to request certain orders for child custody and visitation, if you have children with the person requesting the DVRO against you. This Response must be filed with the Court before the scheduled hearing date, to allow the Judge time to review your Response before the hearing.
Attend the DVRO Hearing
In the paperwork you receive, you will see a “Notice of Court Hearing” Form (Form DV-109), which will give you the date, time, and location of the hearing for your case. YOU MUST GO TO THIS HEARING. Even if you are not able to file a Response to the DVRO, you must go attend this hearing so the Court can hear your side of the story.
If you fail to attend this court hearing, the judge can issue a permanent DVRO without hearing from you at all. The judge can also make orders concerning your children, child support, and other issues without any input from you. This type of order can last up to three (3) years against you.
Effect on Your Criminal Case
If you have a criminal case that is related to the allegations of abuse or violence raised in the DVRO, then it is extremely important that you talk with a lawyer. Anything that is said or written in the DVRO case could be used against you in your criminal case.
Call Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one has received a DVRO, it is crucial that you speak to an experienced family law attorney. Having a DVRO issued against you can have very serious consequences. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling DVRO cases in Southern California. Our attorneys will fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich Southern California family law attorney near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.