Jeffrey F. Rosen, District Attorney

Alison Filo, Deputy District Attorney
Family Violence Division
(408) 792-2891   For release on October 4, 2011   SANTA CLARA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE DRAFTS AMENDMENT TO PENAL CODE EXPANDING PROTECTION FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE   On August 1, 2011, Governor Brown signed SB 723 into law. The amendment to Penal Code section 136.2(i) authorizes a judge to order a criminal defendant to have no contact with the victim upon conviction of any domestic violence related crime, whether it is a felony or misdemeanor. The order is available irrespective of the defendant’s status on probation or prison sentence.   Previously, the criminal court could only issue a stay away order if the defendant was placed on probation or if the defendant was convicted of one of just a few identified crimes, not including one of the most common – domestic violence battery. Because of this loophole, victims of other domestic violence related crimes were required to go to the civil division of the Superior Court, fill out a form, get a hearing date, attend the hearing, have the restraining order issued, serve the restraining order on the defendant, and have the restraining order filed with the court before it was valid.   The new law was drafted by SuDDA James Gibbons-Shapiro and was the brainchild of DDA Alison Filo. Ms. Filo was motivated to improve the law as she repeatedly found herself apologizing in court to victims whose protective orders had been terminated and the criminal’s period of probation had ended. Thanks to this law, victims of domestic violence will be safer and a complicated process has been reformed.   The new law takes effect on January 1, 2012.   ###    

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