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What a Domestic Violence Charge Means During the PandemicFor more than a month now, California residents have been under a stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order asks most people to stay home as much as possible, with exceptions for essential workers and activities. Staying at home has affected people’s behaviors in many ways. Unfortunately, it seems one of the effects may be an increase in domestic violence incidents. Police departments claim there have been more people reporting domestic violence since the stay-at-home order began. Some predicted an increase in domestic violence because people would spend more time at home with a potentially abusive family member or significant other. Domestic violence victims still have access to protection, such as emergency restraining orders and domestic violence shelters. Those who have been accused of domestic violence also need legal help in defending themselves against criminal charges.

Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge

Domestic violence includes acts or threats of physical, emotional, or psychological harm towards the victim. Thus, you can be charged with domestic violence without having physically attacked anyone. A domestic violence charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony – depending on the type of abuse that is alleged and whether the victim suffered injuries.

Before a criminal trial begins, your accuser can request a restraining order against you. A court may grant an Emergency Protective Order that lasts seven days if there is a credible belief that the petitioner is in danger. To extend the order beyond seven days, your accuser must file for a Temporary Restraining Order, which you would have the chance to respond to in court. A restraining order can place many restrictions against you, including requiring you to:

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