Domestic violence is a pervasive issue that can impact the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of its victims. For individuals facing domestic violence, obtaining a restraining order can be an effective and crucial step toward achieving safety and stability. As a family law firm committed to providing exceptional legal representation in divorce and family law matters in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, we understand the immense importance of guiding and supporting our clients through the process of obtaining a restraining order.

In this informative guide, we will discuss the various types of restraining orders available, such as emergency protective orders, temporary restraining orders, and permanent restraining orders. We will further outline the steps involved in obtaining a restraining order, as well as the potential legal ramifications for those violating the terms of an order. Additionally, we will emphasize the importance of skilled legal representation in helping you navigate the complexities of domestic violence cases and secure your safety and well-being.

Types of Restraining Orders in Domestic Violence Cases

  1. Emergency Protective Orders (EPO): An EPO is a short-term order put in place by law enforcement directly at the scene of a domestic violence incident. These orders can last up to seven days, giving the victim time to pursue a more permanent solution.
  2. Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO): A TRO is granted by a judge following a petition filed by the victim. It lasts typically between 20 to 25 days or until a hearing can take place, in which a judge may issue a more permanent order.
  3. Permanent Restraining Orders (PRO): A PRO can be issued after a court hearing in which both parties have an opportunity to present evidence and testimony. Depending on the circumstances, this type of order can last up to five years and may be extended in certain situations.

The Process of Obtaining a Restraining Order

  1. Assess the situation: Analyze the severity and urgency of the domestic violence situation to determine which type of restraining order is best suited to your needs.
  2. Gather necessary documentation: Collect evidence of the abuse, including medical records, photographs, and witness statements.
  3. File the petition: Complete the required paperwork for the desired restraining order and submit it to the appropriate court. In situations requiring an EPO, contact the police, who will assist with the process if warranted.
  4. Attend the court hearing: For TROs and PROs, you will need to attend a court hearing and present evidence of domestic violence to a judge. The abuser will also have an opportunity to present their side. A judge will then determine whether to grant a PRO or extend the TRO.

Consequences for Violating a Restraining Order

Violating a domestic violence restraining order can result in severe consequences for the offender, including:

  1. Arrest and criminal charges: A person caught violating a restraining order can be arrested and face criminal charges for contempt of court.
  2. Fines and penalties: Violating a restraining order can lead to hefty fines, and repeat violators may face imprisonment.
  3. Extensions of the order: Violations may result in the judge extending the duration of the restraining order or issuing a new one with more restrictive terms.

The Importance of Legal Representation in Domestic Violence Cases

Having an experienced family law attorney by your side in domestic violence cases is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Expert guidance: An attorney specializes in the complexities of domestic violence law and can guide you through the process of obtaining the most appropriate restraining order.
  2. Advocacy during the court hearing: Having a skilled lawyer who can present your case effectively in court significantly increases the likelihood of securing a protective order.
  3. Assistance with enforcement: An attorney can advise you on how to enforce a restraining order and take legal action against violators, ensuring your safety and well-being.


Understanding the different types of restraining orders available and the process of obtaining one is essential for victims of domestic violence seeking to build a safety net. Violating a restraining order comes with severe consequences, emphasizing the importance of these legal tools in protecting your well-being.

Enlist the expertise of our compassionate and dedicated family law attorneys, who will guide you through the complexities of domestic violence and help secure the safety and stability you deserve. We at Zhamakochyan Family Law are here to support and empower you as you take the necessary steps to free yourself from the cycle of violence and begin a new chapter in your life.