How Long Does a Restraining Order Last? (Detailed Guide)

How long does restraining order last

How long a restraining order will last mostly depends on the type of order you got. There are several forms of restraining orders, each with its own set of rules. If you have a temporary restraining order, it will be visible to law enforcement for 14 days or until your court date. Meanwhile, the restraining order will be removed from your record if it is refused during the hearing. It will, however, remain if the judge denies it.

This post will basically help you understand how all of these forms of restraining orders work and how long they last.

The Fundamentals

A restraining order is a court order that prohibits one party from doing something that the other party has requested. Restraining orders are often imposed to safeguard victims of family law disputes.

In simple terms, the purpose of a restraining order is to protect the victim from further harm by forbidding the other party from being present in the victim’s presence. The length of these orders varies depending on the type of order obtained by you or your attorney.

Types of Orders and How Long They Last

There are various forms of restraining orders that can be obtained in California, depending on the circumstances. The length of a restraining order is determined by the order type.

One of the variables you and your attorney must examine when determining which kind of restraining order is appropriate in your situation is how long the restraining order will last.

Below is a list of these orders;

#1. Civil Harassment Restraining Orders

Simply put, a restraining order is a civil injunction that stops future harassment until a court hearing can be scheduled, which usually takes 15 to 22 days.

#2. Domestic Violence Protective Restraining Orders

This is a three-week to a five-year temporary restraining order that protects victims of domestic violence.

#3. Criminal Restraining Orders

This is a court order that can last up to five years or until it expires in active domestic violence cases.

#4. Emergency Retraining Orders

An emergency protective order is a legal order issued by California law enforcement that is valid for up to five days.
Basically, if a police officer responds to a domestic violence incident, the officer can contact a court at any time of day or night to request an emergency protective order for you, which will take effect immediately.

A judge will only issue an emergency protective order if he or she believes there is an immediate and present danger of domestic violence or that a child is in immediate danger of abuse or kidnapping by a parent or relative.

#5. Temporary Restrainging Orders

A temporary restraining order is only valid for five business days or seven calendar days (whichever is shorter).

An emergency protection order is meant to give you time to go to court and request a longer-term domestic violence restraining order. Most of the protections available in a regular DVRO (Domestic Violence Restraining Order), including removing the abuser from the home and directing him to have no contact with you, can be included in an emergency order.

It also has the potential to grant you interim custody of your children.

#6. Ex parte Temporary Restraining Orders

When you go to court to petition for a restraining order, the clerk will assign you a date to return to court for a full hearing, usually within three weeks.

If you are in immediate danger and want immediate protection, you can request an ex-parte restraining order, which can force the abuser to leave the house, have no contact with you, and provide a variety of additional benefits.

#7. Restraining Orders After Hearing

Regardless of whether you receive a temporary order, you will be summoned to a hearing to obtain a final DVRO, which you can attend in person or via videoconference.

A judge can issue a “restraining order after hearing” that can last up to five years following a court hearing. However, if the order does not include a termination date, it will be valid for three years from the date it was issued.

Either way, you are at liberty to ask the judge to extend the order for another five years or permanently during the last three months of the order. This extension can be granted by the judge without you having to prove any more abuse.

What is the Impact of a Restraining Orders?

A restraining order will appear on your background check if you receive one. It could have an impact on jobs and gun rights. But, this is not always the case.

You will not be discharged if you work in the military. However, due to firearm restrictions, you will be unable to complete your mission.

Most orders prohibit the defendant from possessing guns. All restraining orders prohibits the defendant from approaching or contacting the victim within a defined distance.

Furthrmore, email, text messages, phone calls, social media messaging, and other forms of communication are also not permitted.

What Happens at a Hearing for Restraining Orders?

Before the hearing, the defendant would need to submit a response before appearing in court.

This statement should be written with care.

Meanwhile, if you’ve been served with a restraining order, hire an experienced lawyer to help you negotiate the legal system.

If the charges are genuine, the defendant will admit them at the hearing.

Without admitting guilt, the defendant can consent to the allegations.

Finally, all sides will adhere the judge’s decision. The defendant should hope for a pardon or an overturning of the order.

Note: You should not miss your court date if you have received a temporary restraining order. Without hearing your side of the story, the judge can nevertheless issue a permanent restraining order.

What is the Duration of Restraining Orders?

As earlier mentioned, a restraining order lasts anywhere from three to five years if the court does not deny it.

The length of time will be specified in the order.

Furthermore, the order can be extended if the defendant violates it. This is a severe offense, and violating your order can result in a variety of penalties.

Is It Possible to Get Restraining Orders Lifted From Your Record?

Yes, but only in exceptional situations.

The defendant must submit a Motion to Lift Restraining Order or a Motion to Modify Conditions of Pretrial Release in order to have this order removed from your record.

Both parties will be identified and involved if this is filed. And only if the victim is in no danger or abuse should the restraining order be lifted.

But altogether, it will only be erased from the defendant’s record if the victim agrees to have it lifted.

How Long Does Restraining Orders Last in the U.K ?

A temporary restraining order in the United Kingdom can last anywhere from 5 to 14 days. However, if the hearing date is prolonged, it may take longer.

A permanent restraining order might last anything from a few months to a year. A permanent order might also be indefinite in some cases.

The court’s verdict will specify the term and circumstances of the order.

What Is The Duration Of A No Contact Order?

In a criminal case involving charges of abuse, battery, assault, or threats of bodily damage, a no-contact order restricts any kind of communication between the parties.

A no-contact order will be in effect until the court makes a final decision, at which point it will either be lifted or left in place.

The court may take into account if both parties agree to restart communication or if the alleged victim unilaterally and willingly decides to dismiss the injunction.

This may be especially important in cases of domestic abuse involving children. The court must be petitioned with valid reasons for lifting the “no-contact order,” as well as the kind of contact that will be permitted.

If the court believes that lifting the order will not put the putative victim in danger, it may do so.

How to Get a Protective Order Revoked

Whether you are the victim or the person who the order is against, the process for getting an order of protection dismissed is different. Only the person who is protected by the order can ask the court to overturn it.

The victim might petition the court to have the order of protection dismissed if you and the victim agree that it is no longer necessary.

Note that the judge will make the final decision based on the merits of the petition.

Follow these steps to have an order of protection canceled before it expires:

  • The victim must appraise the situation and come to the reasonable conclusion that they are no longer in danger from the other.
  • The victim, through his or her attorney, will file an application with the court to have the order dismissed.
  • The court will examine the case and its merits, and if it deems that dismissing the order will not put the victim in danger, it will do so.

But altogether, a permanent restraining order can be lifted in two different ways.

#1. Upon Expiry

When a restraining order expires, it is immediately lifted unless the injunction is indefinite. It should be noted that if the threat still remains, a victim might petition to have it renewed.

#2. Victim’s Application

The victim can petition the court to have the order withdrawn unilaterally and without being forced. The court will investigate the application to see if it was submitted under duress or threat.

Furthermore, the court may grant the request if it is determined that the victim was not forced or pressured into seeking the order's lifting. The court can, however, refuse the application if it believes that doing so would put the victim in danger.

Protection Order vs Restraining Order

While an order of protection and a restraining order are fundamentally the same, the length of time they last differs. An order of protection can last up to a year, whereas a restraining order can last up to 5 years, depending on whether it is temporary or permanent. Both, however, are renewable resources.

What Evidence Is Required for a Restraining Order?

If you have been physically mistreated or threatened with violence, you can report it to the police, who will take a written statement and look for physical signs, among other things, in order to prepare your case for court.

If they find actionable proof of physical abuse or imminent injury from another person, the police can request an immediate protective order.

The Impact of a Restraining Order on You

A restraining order protects the victim from future abuse, harassment, or harm by the perpetrator. The person who has a court order against them, on the other hand, is subjected to a number of restrictions that may harm their future possibilities.

#1. Movement Restrictions

A restraining order typically prohibits you from approaching the victim and establishes a minimum distance from which you must constantly stay away from the victim, a house, or an entity. Because you’re always careful not to break the order, this plainly limits your mobility.

#2. No Contact

Once a restraining order is issued against you, you are barred from communicating with the victim via text message, phone calls, email, or mail. You must stop communicating with the victim.

This also means that if you reside with the victim, you will need to move out. You will be obligated to pay financial support to the victim in a domestic matter(s).

#3. Shows Up in a Background Check

A permanent restraining order will show up on your background check, potentially jeopardizing your job prospects. Employers will be turned off by such a blemish on your record, which will have a major financial impact.

#4. You Can’t Posses a Firearm

The majority of permanent restraining orders prevent you from owning a handgun. Possessing one in violation of the order is a criminal offense that can result in jail time and/or fines.

What Happens if You Break the Terms of a Restraining Order?

Obtaining a restraining order is a civil process, but breaking one is a criminal offense known as contempt of court.

Offense of a restraining order can be handled as a misdemeanor depending on the nature of the violation and your past. You may face jail time or fines if found guilty.

Furthermore, if you use firearms or are a repeat offender, you could be charged with a felony that carries a sentence of up to many years in jail and fines exceeding $1000.


We covered the definition, types, and duration of restraining orders, as well as how to lift them and other important issues in response to the question “how long does a restraining order last?”

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