How Violating a Restraining Order Can Result in a Criminal Charge in California

On May 31, the L.A. Times reported that Dennis Rodman, former NBA star, has received notice of a temporary restraining order filed by his ex-wife, Michelle Rodman, in Orange County. As a result of the order, Rodman cannot come within 100 yards of Ms. Rodman and their two children together, or Ms. Rodman’s adult daughter from another relationship.

We do not know what type of situation or behavior caused Ms. Rodman to file the restraining order against Mr. Rodman, as he is seeking to have all court records sealed. However, temporary restraining orders (TROs) are most commonly served in cases involving harassment, domestic violence, stalking, threats, and/or abuse.

News of the restraining order comes at the heels of other family-related legal trouble for Rodman. On Tuesday, May 29, he was sentenced to 104 hours of community service and three years of informal probation after being found guilty of contempt for failing to pay child support to Ms. Rodman.

CRIMINAL CHARGES RELATED TO VIOLATING A RESTRAINING ORDER

While filing a domestic restraining order is a civil action, violating a domestic restraining order can result in a criminal charge. People who have restraining orders filed against them must remember that when a judge issues a temporary restraining order it is illegal to disobey the order in any way, no matter if you believe the order is unfair, based on false information, or the person who filed the order contacts you.

Beyond personal contact, prohibited contact includes phone calls and text messages, emails and other interaction via the Internet (such as Facebook), or any type of surveillance, such as watching the protected party in a public place.

The penalties for violating a domestic restraining order can be serious depending on whether it is your first or subsequent violation and whether the alleged victim suffered an injury. Usually, a violation is charged as a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail, plus mandatory counseling and victim restitution in many cases. For a second offense, however, or if the protected person suffers a physical injury, you could be charged with a felony and face a prison sentence and up to $10,000 in fines.

TALK TO AN EXPERIENCED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFENSE ATTORNEY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

If you have been charged, or fear you could be charged, with a domestic violence offense in Southern California, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend your rights and tell your side of the story. You need to protect your interests and your future in the face of domestic violence charges. Contact Rancho Cucamonga domestic violence attorney John D. Lueck.

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