Restraining orders can seem unfair. They greatly limit where you can and cannot go, and may even go so far as to completely separate you from your workplace, home, or even children. It can be difficult to fathom a world in which you aren’t allowed to pick your kids up from school, or go to their little league games. Sadly, this is the case for many people stuck with restraining orders. However, what many of them may not think about is how their restraining orders and any violations may impact their ability to be freed on bail should they ever be facing criminal court.
What Does a “Violation” Mean?
Restraining orders are most often issued in situations involving stalking or domestic violence. When granted, they usually require the alleged perpetrator stay a certain length of feet away from the alleged victim. However, there can be other caveats written into the order by the court, requiring that the perpetrator do things such as avoid certain buildings that the victim works, lives, or goes to school in. There may be further orders made by the judge, if he or she feels that they are necessary.
Once a retraining order is issued, it must be followed until the time limit is up, which may be up to five years according to California law. Breaking any of the stipulations in the restraining order, such as coming too close to the victim or their home, would be counted as a violation. Any violation, minor or otherwise, could lead to an arrest, since the order is issued directly by the courts, and violations are seen as going against the court itself.
The Costs of Violating a Restraining Order
If you were arrested due to a restraining order violation, then you are unlikely to be treated kindly. Most people assume that restraining orders are only used in cases of serious domestic violence, and you will likely be treated as a pariah by the arresting officers. Thankfully, bail may still be an option for you. However, the fact that the crime was “violating a restraining order” may be against your favor.
Among the tools that the bail-hearing judge has when determining how much bail an arrestee should pay, such as the bail schedule, one of the most important is whether the alleged perpetrator is a threat to the community. If your arrest was due to a restraining order violation, even if it was a simple mistake, then the judge may decide that you are potentially dangerous to your alleged victim. To try and keep you from posting bail, the judge will likely decide to set your bail amount incredibly high. Few of us have thousands of dollars just laying around, so it will be unlikely that you can pay for the bail yourself. Thankfully, there are many great bail bond agencies that you can contact for help, including Balboa Bail Bonds. But what happens when you violate the restraining order while on bail?
What Will Happen to Your Bail
When you leave jail on bail, you do so as a sort of agreement between you and the courts. There are rules and conditions that you must follow to continue to be allowed the privileges of freedom. The courts, in an effort to make sure that you adhere to these conditions, can revoke your bail, as in make it forfeit, anytime you are found to be in violation of court orders.
Ways to violate court orders can include skipping required hearings, leaving town without permission, or committing further crimes. Violating a restraining order while out on bail would count as the third option. Remember, restraining order violations are a crime. However unfair the order may be, if you want it overturned, you must go through the courts. Taking matters into your own hands and violating a TRO will never be taken well, especially if you are out on bail.
While you will probably be granted bail again following your arrest for the violation, it will likely be heavily increased, as the courts now consider you untrustworthy. On top of that, your previous bail will be forfeit: neither you nor the bail bonds agency you worked with will get it back. That means you will owe the agency all of the money they lost, and, if you want to post the bail bond again, you will have to convince them, or convince a new agency to do it. Both options will be incredibly difficult, as agencies get to choose who they offer their services to, and if you are considered untrustworthy, then it is unlikely that agencies will elect to work with you.
However, with the right bail agent by your side, this may never be an issue. At Balboa Bail Bonds, our agents work hard to develop close relationships with all local courts and judges. This means that your agent may be in a position to make sure that your bail doesn’t end up being forfeit, even if you accidentally violate your restraining order. On top of that, we always offer our clients support through the difficult trial process. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, we can help guide you out of it. Most bail agencies forget you until it comes time to collect a payment, and that simply isn’t our way. For much-needed bail aid, call Balboa Bail Bonds at (619) 760-2222 today.