What is the Punishment For Violating a Restraining Order?

Any willful disobedience of any temporary restraining order or injunction granted because of civil harassment is punishable under California criminal law. Penal Code §273.6 provides that any intentional and knowing violation of an order issued under CCP §527.6 is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1000 and/or by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year.  Any violation of the order that results in physical injury is punishable by a fine of up to $2000 and/or by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days nor more than one year.  However, if a violator is imprisoned in county jail for at least 48 hours,  a judge may, in the interest of justice, reduce or eliminate the 30-day minimum imprisonment

A subsequent conviction for violation of Pen C §273.6(a), occurring within seven years of a prior conviction and involving an act of violence or a credible threat of violence, is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year or in state prison. According to one attorney, a subsequent conviction occurring within one year of a prior conviction that results in physical injury is punishable by a fine of up to $2000 and/or by imprisonment in county jail for not less than six months nor more than one year, or by imprisonment in state prison.  However, if a defendant is imprisoned in county jail for at least 30 days, the court may, in the interest of justice, reduce or eliminate the six-month minimum imprisonment.

A defendant who is convicted of owning, possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm when prohibited from doing so by an order under CCP §527.6 may be imprisoned in the county jail for up to one year or in state prison and may be subject to a fine of up to $1000.

The Nuts and Bolts of Gang Registration

In Long Beach, as is the case anywhere else in the state of California, a person convicted of specified gang-related offenses must register with the chief of police of the city in which he or she resides, or the sheriff of the county if he or she resides in an unincorporated area. Gang Registration is required if the individual has been convicted of any of the following crimes:

1. Active participation in and furtherance of felonious conduct by a criminal street gang under Penal Code §186.22(a)

2. Any felony for which a sentencing enhancement has been imposed under Penal Code §186.22(b)(1)

3. Any crime the court has determined is gang related at the time of sentencing or disposition. Penal Code §186.30(b)(3).

“Gang related” means related to a “criminal street gang” within the meaning of Penal Code §186.22(e)(f). Gang-related crimes include, but are not limited to, all crimes committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang, as determined by recent CA Supreme Court decisions. However, nothing in the registration statutes precludes a criminal court in its discretion from imposing the registration requirement in a gang-related crime, according to one long time Criminal Lawyer in Long Beach.

The registration requirement has been found to be constitutional. See, for example the case of People v Bailey (2002) 101 CA4th 238. Gang-member registration under Pen C §186.30 has been determined to not constitute punishment for due process purposes and, therefore, need not be based on proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The fact that the subject crime was gang related need only be based on a standard of “more likely than not”.  Those facing the possibility of gang registration should speak to a qualified criminal attorney in Long Beach.  The consequences of such registration can indeed be very daunting and long-lasting.