Stay Away Order
What is a Stay Away Order?
Stay-Away Order, also called a
Protective Order (CPO), is a restraining order issued under California Penal Code section 136.2,
by a Judge in a criminal case against the person (the defendant) accused
of domestic violence. This Stay-Away Order is issued to protect a victim
or witness of a crime, from harm, intimidation or dissuasion that has
occurred or is reasonably likely to occur. The Stay-Away Order is usually
issued after the defendant is charged with or found guilty of certain
crimes against the victim.
How Does a Stay-Away Order Work?
The Stay-Away Order is issued when the criminal case is initiated and the
defendant makes his or her first appearance in court (the arraignment).
The defendant is served a copy of the Order in open court. The Order specifies
what the defendant can and cannot do. Generally, the Order specifically
prohibits the defendant from having any contact with the victim. It tells
the defendant to stay away from the victim or a witness (usually 100 yards
away) and from his or her place of employment. It directs the defendant
from having no contact with the victim or witness, either directly or
indirectly, and not to annoy, harass, threaten, or commit any acts of
violence. In some rare cases, the Order can be modified so that the defendant
can have contact with the victim, but the contact cannot be annoying,
offensive, or hostile.
How Long Does a Stay-Away Order Last?
The Stay-Away Order generally lasts for three years or until the criminal
case against the defendant has been resolved. Sometimes the Stay-Away
Order can be extended for 10 years. Keep in mind that a Stay-Away Order
differs from an
Emergency Protective Order,
Domestic Violence Restraining Order, or a
Civil Harassment Restraining Order.
What Is The Difference Between A Stay-Away Order And A Civil Restraining Order?
The main difference is that the Stay-Away Order (Criminal Protective Order)
arises out of a criminal case and is issued in criminal court by a Judge
while the Civil Restraining Order is issued by civil or family law Judges.
In the Stay-Away Order the prosecutor (District or City Attorney) is usually
involved in drafting the Order while in a Civil Restraining Order the
victim is the one filing and seeking the Restraining Order. Law Enforcement
treats and responds differently to Stay-Away Orders than violations of
Civil Domestic Violence Restraining Orders. Violating a Stay-Away Order
is a crime in Los Angeles County and a Civil Restraining Order is usually
not subject to criminal prosecution.
What Happens When A Stay-Away Order Is Violated?
If the defendant disobeys the Stay-Away Order he or she can be arrested
for violation of the Stay-Away Order and subject to misdemeanor Criminal
Contempt charges (also called Violation of a Court Order) punishable in
California, under Penal Code section 166 by up to one year in county jail.
In certain circumstances, multiple violations of a criminal protective
order can lead to felony charges and a state prison sentence of up to
A Stay-Away Order prohibits the defendant from owning, possessing, purchasing
or receiving firearms while the Stay-Away Order is in effect. After the
Stay-Away Order is issued the defendant is ordered to relinquish any firearm
in his or her possession. The defendant must comply within 24 hours of
the Order being served on the defendant. The defendant will be ordered
to present proof to the court in the form of a receipt of sale or surrender.
In some rare cases, the court can make an exception to this when a firearm
is required as part of the defendant’s employment.
Top Criminal Defense Attorneys
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners if you are charged with Domestic Violence and facing a Stay-Away Order
(Criminal Protective Order) in Los Angeles County. We are experienced
attorneys who can assist you with a Stay-Away Order and represent your
best interests in court.