When a person petitions a court for an injunction in Florida, they are asking the court to prevent the respondent from having any contact with them. In some instances, these injunctions will also prevent the individual from having contact with their children.
Injunctions, which are commonly known as restraining orders, are typically used in domestic violence cases when a person claims that the respondent has committed ongoing sexual or physical violence against the petitioner.
Injunctions can lead to long-term consequences for the respondent. If someone files a petition for an injunction against you, it is essential to speak to an experienced criminal law attorney to defend against the charges.
People often have a lot of questions about what an injunction means and what they need to do to protect themselves.
What happens when someone files a petition for an injunction against a person?
When a person files a petition for an injunction in Florida, a judge will decide whether to grant the petitioner a temporary injunction and then set a hearing within a maximum of fifteen days, set a hearing without putting a temporary injunction in place, or deny the petition without granting a hearing. In many cases, the judge will error on the side of caution and enter a temporary injunction.
A temporary injunction will prevent the respondent from contacting the petitioner for fifteen days until the hearing. At the hearing, the petitioner and respondent will have opportunities to present their cases. If the claims made in the petition are false, misrepresentative, or exaggerated, then the respondent’s attorney will work to have the injunction denied, and the petition dismissed.
The fact that a hearing will take place within fifteen days means that the respondent will need to act quickly and find an attorney. It is important to appear at the hearing.
What happens if the respondent does not fight the petition?
Failing to challenge the injunction will mean that the petitioner can put on their case without anyone there to contradict that person’s claims or evidence. An injunction has serious consequences, and it is vital to address the allegations.
What if a court enters the injunction?
If a court enters an injunction against a person, the respondent may not be able to return to his or her home if it is a shared residence with the petitioner. If the respondent and the petitioner have children, the respondent may not be able to see those children until the court makes a parenting determination, such as one made in a divorce proceeding. Injunctions can lead to a person needing to overturn any firearms they own and can prevent the individual from buying guns. An injunction may affect a person’s employment.
The injunction will also likely prevent the respondent from being near certain places the petitioner frequents, such as his or her place of employment, school, or place of worship.
The court can require the petitioner to attend counseling or intervention programs.
How long will an injunction last?
If a judge enters a permanent injunction, then the restrictions will be in place until it is changed by the court or until a date chosen by the judge. The injunction could last for several years.
If the injunction is set to expire, the petitioner may request to extend it for additional time so long as he or she seeks the extension before the date the injunction is set to expire.
What type of actions are considered to be violations of an injunction?
An injunction will set terms that a respondent must follow. Of course, if the person subject to the restrictions contacts the petitioner, threatens, or harms the petitioner, this will be a clear violation. Sometimes people fail to realize that they are in violation of an injunction because their contact with the petitioner is indirect. For instance, the person may relay a non-threatening message through family or electronically thinking that they are not doing anything wrong to find out that they violated the injunction. It is important to read the injunction carefully and understand what is and is not prohibited.
Being too close to one of the prohibited places, and other actions could also be violations of the injunction.
What happens if a person violates an injunction?
If a person violates an injunction, they committed a criminal act. Violations of an injunction are considered felonies in some cases and can even result in prison time. Police can immediately arrest a person for violating an injunction.
Are injunctions public?
Yes. Injunctions are public records, which means that the accusations included in the injunction are visible to anyone. When a court enters an injunction, this can impact the respondent’s employment prospects. The injunction can also create a social stigma that can impact a person’s relationships.
Can a person appeal an injunction?
It is possible to appeal an injunction, and in many cases, a person may wish to do so. A person may appeal an injunction even if it is expired. An expired injunction can still impact a person’s life after it is no longer in effect. The person may not be able to purchase a gun, and the document can lead to difficulties in getting a job. As such, if a person wishes to have an injunction overturned, the court will permit that individual to file an appeal.
Injunctions present a host of severe problems for a respondent. If the allegations are false, the respondent may find themselves scared, frustrated, and vulnerable.
When facing something that has life-altering consequences like an injunction, it is essential to find an experienced legal advocate. An attorney can help the respondent fight the charges against him or her and can work to protect the respondent’s rights throughout the process.
Because of the quick turnaround for injunctions, it is crucial for those accused to seek out legal counsel quickly. An attorney will need time to prepare for the hearing and to put together the strategy and necessary evidence to defend against the injunction.