Police Served You with an Emergency Protective Order After Your PC 243(e)(1) Arrest

March 22, 2023

An emergency protective order (EPO) is a legal order issued by a judge to protect an individual from domestic violence, stalking, or other forms of abuse. In California, officers often serve an EPO when someone is arrested for violating Penal Code 243(e)(1), which is the criminal charge for domestic battery.

Domestic battery, also known as spousal battery, is defined as the use of force or violence against a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or parent of the offender’s child. This can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse. The punishment for a domestic battery conviction can include fines, jail time, and mandatory attendance of a batterer’s treatment program.

When an individual is arrested for domestic battery, the police are required to notify the victim and inform them of their right to request an EPO. The EPO can prohibit the offender from contacting the victim, going near their residence or place of work, or possessing firearms. The EPO can also include other provisions to protect the safety of the victim and their children, such as ordering the offender to vacate the shared residence or to stay away from the alleged victim’s children’s school or daycare.

An EPO is a temporary order, and typically lasts for up to 7 days, however, it can be extended for up to 21 days upon request of the victim. During this time, your accuser can seek a long-term restraining order, also known as a civil harassment restraining order. A long-term restraining order can last up to 5 years and can be renewed if necessary.

It is important to note that an EPO or a long-term restraining order is not a criminal penalty and it is a civil matter. Even though EPO and long-term restraining orders are not criminal penalties, violating them is a criminal offense and can result in arrest, fines, and even imprisonment.

For example, sending a text message or calling your accuser during the time the EPO in place could lead to additional criminal charges. This is true even if your accuser never requested the police to issue an EPO. Oftentimes, law enforcement will make their own independent call to serve the arrestee with an EPO regardless of the alleged victim’s desire.

It is also important to note that restraining orders and EPO’s are not a guarantee of safety, it is simply a legal tool that may help in preventing further abuse. The victim should also consider seeking additional help and support, such as counseling, support groups, and safety planning.

If you were arrested for PC 243(e)(1), then you are probably in an unfamiliar place. You’re not sure what to do or the steps to take. Our office handles domestic violence accusations routinely and we will help you navigate through this unfamiliar situation.

Attorney John D. Rogers is a criminal defense attorney. He is a board-certified criminal law specialist by the State Bar of California. His office is located in Newport Beach, CA and he represents clients throughout Southern California in state and federal matters. If you’re seeking legal representation, give the Law Offices of John D. Rogers a call to schedule a free consultation.

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