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Stay Away Order

A Stay Away Order, also known as a Criminal Protective Order, or a No Contact Order, is an order issued by a judge in a criminal court against the person (the defendant) accused primarily of domestic violence. The Stay Away Order is issued to protect the alleged victim(s) of domestic violence as well as victims of stalking, molesting, striking, attacking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, harassing, and annoying phone calls. The Stay Away Order can also protect those close to the victim even if there is no crime against them. The Order generally lasts for three years or until the case against the defendant has been resolved. A Stay Away Order is different from an emergency protective order, domestic violence restraining order, or a civil harassment restraining order.

The Stay Away Order is issued when the defendant first appears in court. The defendant is served a copy of the Order in open court. The Order specifies exactly what the defendant can and cannot do. Generally, the Order specifically prohibits the defendant from having any contact with the victim. Sometimes the Order can be modified so that the defendant can have contact with the victim but the contact cannot be annoying, offensive or hostile in any way. In the event the defendant disobeys the Stay Away Order he or she can be arrested for violation of the Order and subject to misdemeanor criminal contempt punishable in California by up to six months in county jail.

If you or someone you know has been served with a Stay Away Order contact an experienced criminal defense attorney with knowledge about Restraining and Stay Away Orders to learn about your rights and legal options.