Can Out of State Restraining Orders Be Enforced?

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Can Out of State Restraining Orders Be Enforced?

Posted by Christopher Martens | Jul 14, 2016 | 1 Comment

The law can vary quite a bit from state to state. What is illegal in one state may be perfectly legal in another.

Nevertheless, you are expected to follow certain laws that apply in all states. Laws regarding abuse or domestic violence are fairly far reaching. Restraining orders, also sometimes called protective orders, can be obtained in any state, but they can still be enforced when you or the protected person are in another state. If you have a restraining order issued against you in California, the order is still valid in other states, and you must adhere to it. Similarly, if you had a restraining order against you issued in another state, you must still adhere to it in California.

A valid, out of state restraining order can be enforced in any state, but law enforcement may or may not be aware of it. If local law enforcement isn't aware of the order, having it enforced may be a little more difficult This is one of the reasons why you and the protected person are both recommended to keep a copy of the order with you at all times. This ensures the protected person can get help from law enforcement if need be, and you can refer to the specifics of the order if you are accused of violating a condition of the order that you are not subject to. Even without a copy of the order, local law enforcement can take action if they become aware of a violation. They may need to take a few additional steps to get a copy of the order. Out of state restraining orders can also be registered with California courts so local law enforcement can be aware of the order, making enforcement a little more streamlined.

Although valid restraining orders can be enforced in any state, they can only be modified in the state that issued it. This means that if the protected person wanted to change, extend, or cancel the order, he or she would have to request the court that issued it do so. You should be notified of any modifications if the court or protected person has your current address. Make sure your address is always up to date with the court that issued the order to ensure you are aware of all changes made. If the out of state restraining order expires, however, a new one may need to be issued in California, if that is where you are living now. The protected person would need to go through the process of requesting a new restraining order in California. But, if there hasn't been an issue of violence in California and you didn't violate the other order when it was valid, the protected person may find it difficult to have a new one issued.

Speak with an California criminal defense attorney with experience handling domestic violence and restraining order cases if you have questions about the effects of an out of state restraining order. Regardless of what state issued the order, you have to obey the order in California. Restraining order violations are illegal in any state, and you could face penalties from California even for violating an out of state restraining order. An attorney can explain what you need to do to follow the order in California and what will happen if you violate it. Violating an out of state order in California will result the same consequences as a California order violation would. The punishment for a violation will vary based on what the violation was and your history of past offenses. You could face fines, jail time, or an order to attend counseling or therapy. Violating an order may also be a violation of your probation. You can face consequences for that as well. If you were not notified that an out of state restraining order was modified in any way or if the order you violated has already expired, you may have a strong defense in court. Speak to an attorney about the facts and circumstances of your case to explore your options. If you did not intentionally and knowingly violate the order, an attorney may be able to have your case dropped.

Do you have questions about an out of state restraining order? California attorney Christopher Martens knows California criminal defense and can advise you on how an out of state restraining order will affect you. With over ten years of criminal defense experience, Mr. Martens has handled thousands of cases and has taken over 50 to trial. Attorney Christopher Martens will not be afraid to take your case all the way to trial to defend your rights. Serving the Visalia and Fresno areas, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens can provide expert DUI defense counsel. Call our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.

About the Author

Christopher Martens

Bio Visalia and Bakersfield criminal defense attorney who has dedicated his life to helping those who have been accused of crimes or injured due to the negligence of others.


Dan MuscatoReply

Posted May 19, 2021 at 19:23:24

I divorced my unfaithful wife 3-4yrs ago but under “irreconcilable differences”, (her infidelity & religious affiliation, Jehovahs).
She’s asked FAMILY court of Erie County, NY, for a “Order of Protection”, is this enforceable in the state of Florida. I am an avid target shooter, hunter, have never expressed a physical threat to her, but I know how the courts always take sides of the women! How do I combat this allegation?

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