Injunctions For Protection Lawyer in Florida (FL)

Florida Injunction Laws, Types of Injunctions, Processes, and Defenses

Temporary Injunction for Protection in Florida

Injunctions, which are also known as restraining orders, are orders issued by the court to protect an individual from violence. The person who files or petitions the court for an injunction is known as the petitioner. The respondent is the individual who the petitioner is seeking protection against.

In Florida, an injunction requires a person to stop having contact with another individual. In many circumstances, the allegations that are raised in a petition for a restraining order are exaggerated or completely false. A criminal defense attorney can assist you at an injunction hearing and demonstrate the reasons why the court should dismiss the action.

Under Florida law, an injunction is a court order that directs a person to not have any contact with another person. In many of these cases, the allegations contained in the petition are false or exaggerated. An attorney can represent you at the hearing and show the reasons why the court should dismiss the action and not grant the injunction. If you were issued a temporary injunction for repeat violence, stalking, domestic violence, sexual violence or dating violence, then you should contact a seasoned Florida criminal defense attorney to safeguard your legal rights.

Violating an Injunction can result in serious consequences.

Depending upon the violation that resulted in the issuance of an injunction, serious criminal charges can be sought. These charges range from a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries with it a maximum of one year in county jail, to a third-degree felony, which carries with it a punishment of up to five years in a Florida State Prison.

Knowing the Types of Injunctions in the State of Florida

Domestic Violence Injunctions in Florida

In Florida, domestic violence includes acts of assault, battery, kidnapping, stalking, false imprisonment or any criminal act that causes physical injury or death to a family or household member against another family or household member.

Florida law dictates that the petitioner must reside with the respondent or previously had resided together or share a child in common. To have legal grounds to file an injunction, there must be proof that the petitioner was a victim of domestic violence or has reason to believe he or she will be the victim of domestic violence.

Dating Violence Injunctions in Florida

Dating violence refers to violence that occurs between those who had or have an ongoing intimate or romantic relationship. If the relationship no longer exists, the dating relationship must have been in place for at least six months prior to the filing of the injunction.

Stalking Injunctions in Florida

Stalking refers to intentional, malicious and repetitive harassment or following. A victim of stalking may file a Stalking Injunction. In Florida, stalking also includes cyberstalking, which is the direct communication with a person through an electronic means (i.e., texting or emailing) for a purpose that is not legitimate and that results in serious emotional distress to the victim.

Repeat Violence Injunctions in Florida

A petitioner may file a Repeat Violence Injunction if there are two instances of stalking or violence, one of which happened within six months of filing the initial petition. The violence must have been inflicted upon the petitioner or a member of his or her immediate family.

Sexual Violence Injunctions in Florida

Sexual violence includes lewd acts against children as well as acts of sexual battery and committing or attempting to commit sexual acts as part of a forcible felony. There does not have to be an ongoing criminal case for this injunction to be pursued. This injunction can also be sought even if a chase was dismissed.

A person who violates an injunction can face serious consequences, including criminal charges.

An injunction is filed in a civil court however, a court may enforce it if a person violates the terms of the injunction. In this case, the State Attorney can seek criminal charges against the offender. If such charges are sought, the offender faces up to a year in prison. It is also a crime for a person who has been issued an injunction to purchase or possess a firearm or ammunition.

It is important for an accused to understand that an injunction can affect one’s ability to obtain gainful employment or housing, as it may appear in public records.

The Injunction Process in Florida

The injunction process starts when the petitioner seeks a certain type of injunction and petitions the court accordingly. For a temporary injunction to be granted, the judge must be presented with “clear and convincing evidence” of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, or repeat violence.

The petition asks the court to place a temporary injunction against the respondent. This is usually granted right away unless the petition is facially insufficient. The court does not hold a hearing to grant a temporary injunction.

Upon granting a temporary injunction, the court then sets a final hearing date to determine if a permanent injunction is warranted. This hearing is held fifteen days from the date that the temporary injunction was put into place. At this hearing, a respondent has the opportunity to offer witnesses and/or evidence to support his or her position.

Many individuals believe that they should just represent themselves at a final injunction hearing. However, representing oneself without competent legal counsel can result in serious consequences. Injunction hearings are very serious and follow strict legal rules of conduct and procedure. If you are facing a permanent injunction, it is critical that you immediately contact an attorney at Musca Law to safeguard your legal rights and interests.

How Long is the Temporary Injunction in Effect For?

A temporary injunction typically lasts for fifteen days. Per Florida law, any such temporary injunction shall be effective for a fixed period not to exceed fifteen days. However, if the respondent is in jail, the temporary injunction will be effective for fifteen days following the date that he or she is released from prison. In its discretion, the court may grant a continuance of the injunction hearing.

If a Permanent Injunction is Granted, How Long Will It Last?

There generally is no time limit for a permanent injunction. Under Florida law, the terms of the injunction remain in effect until changed or dissolved at a later time. Both the petitioner and respondent may legally pursue a modification or dissolution of the injunction. Such relief may be granted in addition to other criminal or civil remedies.

The Main Consequences Associated with an Injunction

Many individuals are not aware of the range of consequences associated with a temporary and permanent injunction. The most serious aspect of an injunction is that it cannot be sealed or expunged because it is a civil, not criminal, proceeding. This means that information about one’s injunction becomes part of the public record. An employer can easily search for such information on a prospective or current employee, which could mean the difference of whether you receive or keep your job.

An injunction can also affect one’s family. Specifically, they can negatively affect a pending or future family law proceeding such as a custody dispute and hearings for child support or alimony. In disputes over custody, an injunction can be a significant factor in determining who will serve as the primary caregiver for his or her child.

Injunctions can also affect one’s reputation at work, especially if the respondent and petitioner work for the same company. Another consequence of an injunction is that the accused will be required to surrender any and all firearms to local law enforcement and lose their right to carry firearms. If the court denies or dismisses the injunction, the defense attorney can file a special motion to request the return of the accused’s weapons.

When a petitioner is granted an injunction, he or she can call the police at any time asserting that the respondent violated its terms. For instance, if a respondent mistakenly runs into the petitioner at a local grocery store, he or she can be arrested for violating the terms of an injunction.

The Injunction Can Wrongfully be Used as a Weapon

At Musca Law, we have defended clients against all types of injunctions. A common theme that our attorneys see is the vengeful petitioner requesting the court for a petition to gain an advantage in a civil matter, such as a divorce proceeding. For instance, the most common scenario involves a man or woman who claims their former spouse committed domestic violence against them in order to obtain an advantage in a custody proceeding.

Another situation we often see is a petition filed against a coworker to force this individual out of his or her office. We also represent individuals who have been falsely accused of sexual violence. Specifically, we have seen step-children make false accusations against a step-parent because they no longer want to live with him or her. Lastly, we have seen unmarried parents create false allegations for sexual violence in an attempt to damage any relationship between the respondent and his or her child.

What Happens if an Injunction is Violated?

Under Florida law, a person who willfully violates a protective injunction can be charged with a misdemeanor in the first degree, which is punishable by up to one year in county jail. If you have been accused of violating the terms of an injunction, it is critical that you contact Musca Law immediately in order to preserve your legal rights and interests.

How Are the Five Florida Injunctions Similar?

  • The alleged victim is referred to as the petitioner, and the other party is the respondent.
  • The petition must be sworn, which means that it is signed in front of a court clerk or a notary.
  • The judge has the discretion to issue a temporary injunction before a formal hearing is held.
  • The temporary injunction remains in effect until a hearing with both parties is held.
  • The temporary injunction needs to be served on the respondent, usually by the county sheriff.
  • A hearing may still be held in the absence of a temporary injunction.
  • The respondent is entitled to notice of any hearing.
  • The respondent and petitioner may have witnesses testify on their behalf at the hearing.
  • The judge may grant a permanent injunction following the hearing with both parties.
  • Unless the court sets a certain time period, an injunction typically remains in effect until it is modified or dissolved by the court.
  • The judge may issue a final, or permanent injunction after a hearing with both parties.
  • There are serious consequences should a respondent violate the terms of his or her injunction.

How are Injunctions in Florida Different?

Domestic Violence Injunctions:

  • The respondent and petitioner must be members of the same family or household members who are or were living together in the same single dwelling unit unless they have a child together.
  • Parents of a child they have in common do not have to be married or cohabitated together.
  • The alleged victim must establish that he or she is the victim of domestic violence or reasonably believes that he or she is in danger of being abused.
  • Protects adults from contact or violence, and the terms may include a child or children.
  • Respondent must leave in a shared dwelling. Petitioner will be allowed to stay.
  • Respondent is prohibited from being present at the petitioner’s residence or at a shared dwelling.
  • The petitioner may have the parties’ children temporarily for 100% of the time.
  • Petitioner may be allowed to live in shared dwelling while respondent must leave.
  • Respondent may be barred from petitioner’s residence or a shared dwelling.
  • Petitioner may temporarily have the children 100% of the time.
  • Petitioner and/or the child(ren) may be entitled to temporarily receive support.
  • Petitioner and/or children may receive support on a temporary basis.
  • If a temporary injunction is issued, the respondent may be required to surrender ammunition and guns.
  • If a permanent injunction is issued, the respondent will be required to surrender ammunition and guns. The respondent may also be required to attend a Batterers’ Intervention Program.

Repeat Violence Injunctions:

  • There must be at least two incidents of stalking or violence by respondent on the petitioner or his or her immediate family members. One of the incidents must have occurred within the past six months.
  • Petitioner must believe that he or she is in danger of repeat violence by respondent.
  • Either victim, or parent or guardian of minor child living at home, may file petition.
  • Protects minor children and adults from repeated contact or violence.
  • Respondent may be forced to surrender his or her ammunition and guns.

Dating Violence Injunctions:

  • Requires that a relationship be on a dating level and for the past six months.
  • The relationship must be one involving an expectation of affection and not just a casual relationship.
  • Petitioner must establish that he or she is a victim of dating violence and reasonably fears that he or she is in immediate danger of becoming a victim of dating violence or once again becoming a victim of dating violence.
  • Either victim, or parent or guardian of minor child living at home, may file petition.
  • Protects minor children and adults from further contact or violence.
  • Respondent may be forced to surrender his or her ammunition and guns.

Sexual Violence Injunctions:

  • Sexual violence includes a lewd or lascivious act upon or in the presence of a child, sexual battery, sexual performance by a child, or luring or enticing a child
  • Petitioner must be in full cooperation with law enforcement following a report of sexual violence.
  • Protects petitioner from respondent who was imprisoned for sexual violence and whose term has ended or is due to end within ninety days.
  • Either victim, or parent or guardian of minor child living at home, may file petition.
  • Protects minor children and adults from further contact or violence.
  • Respondent may be forced to surrender his or her ammunition and guns.

Stalking (Includes Cyberstalking) Injunctions:

  • Requires at least two incidents of cyberstalking or stalking.
  • Either victim, or parent or guardian of minor child living at home, may file petition.
  • Protects minor children and adults from future cyberstalking or stalking.
  • After a temporary injunction is granted, the respondent may be required to surrender his or her ammunition and guns.
  • After a permanent injunction is granted, the respondent must surrender his or her ammunition and guns.
  • Respondent may be court-ordered to receive treatment and his or her own expense.

Violations of an Injunction Charges in Florida

Violation Of Injunctions

If you have been accused of violating a temporary or permanent injunction, the consequences are extremely harsh. Courts are unsympathetic towards those that violate injunctive orders, regardless of the facts and circumstances of the case. Even if you were wrongfully accused and/or feel that the terms of the injunction are unfair, it is critical that you abide with its terms. Contact a seasoned attorney at Musca Law today to potentially improve your chances of a positive outcome in your case. Only a seasoned attorney can help safeguard your legal rights and interests. Don’t wait; contact Musca Law now.

What’s The Difference Between A Restraining Order And A Protective Injunction?

A restraining order is only a short-term solution. When an alleged victim seeks a protective injunction, a hearing must be held. Until the hearing occurs, a restraining order is in place. Once the hearing happens, a domestic violence protective injunction can be put into effect if the judge believes that it is required in order to keep the petitioner safe.

The Penalties Associated with an Injunction

If you violate a restraining order or protective injunction in Florida, you could face first-degree misdemeanor charges that carries with it a term of up to one year in prison and fines up to $1,000. Depending upon the nature of the violation, additional charges can be brought. For example, if you stalk the petitioner in violation of a restraining order, the charge automatically becomes elevated to aggravated stalking, which carries with it a prison term of up to fifteen years.

Can I Challenge a Protective Order Issued Against Me?

You have the right to challenge a protective order. Protective orders can be issued with little evidence and justification. If you were unable to defend yourself when an injunction was issued, the attorneys at Musca Law may be able to fight to get the order rescinded and cleared.

Get your case started by calling us at (888) 484-5057 today!

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