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Differences between restraining orders and no-contact orders

The state of California has multiple laws in place that are aimed to protect victims of domestic abuse. If you’ve been the victim of a crime, you might need to file a restraining order or a no-contact order. Before you talk to an attorney, it’s important to know the difference between the two.

What’s the difference between a restraining order and a no-contact order?

One of the main differences is that a no-contact order is filed after a crime has taken place, while a restraining order aims to prevent a crime from happening in the first place. A restraining order is filed by the individual seeking protection. Once they’ve filed the order, they’ll have to wait for a court hearing where the judge will make the final decision. If the restraining order is put in action, the other party will be banned from contacting or approaching the individual.

Conversely, a no-contact order is intended to protect the victims of a violent crime. A no-contact order prevents the other party from approaching the victim, although they can still communicate through letters and text messages. Unlike a restraining order, a prosecutor files a no-contact order instead of the victim. The no-contact order typically lasts through the arrest and sentencing process and can be extended after the accused person leaves jail. A restraining order attorney could tell you which option is best for your situation.

Do you need an attorney to file a restraining order?

An attorney could help you file a restraining order as quickly as possible and take other steps to protect your family from a dangerous individual. Many people don’t realize that there are multiple types of restraining orders. Your attorney could explain which option is best for your situation, whether you need a temporary restraining order or an emergency protective order.