Repeat Violence Protective Injunction Defense Lawyers in Clearwater, Florida
Protective injunctions in Clearwater, Florida, provide additional protection for victims of violence. Florida courts can authorize injunctions for incidents such as repeat violence, stalking, sexual violence, dating violence, and domestic violence. While the notion of offering a victim of violence additional safeguards, protective injunctions impinge upon the rights of the person who is subject to the order. A person who faces a permanent injunction based on the allegations contained in a petition for injunctive relief can find themselves dealing with the repercussions for the remainder of their lives. Consequently, vigorously defending against petitions for injunctive relief is crucial to preserving one’s freedom and rights protected by the United States Constitution and the constitution of the state of Florida.
Unfortunately, the process to obtain protection from the court is often misused by people such as scorned lovers, family members who are slighted by other family members, or even neighbors who can no longer get along. Judges must determine who was telling the truth and whether granting the order is in the interest of justice. It is not an easy task. Therefore judges frequently err on the side of caution and issue orders when the facts do not necessarily justify the imposition of a protective order.
Swiftly acting to obtain the advice of a skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable repeat violence injunction defense attorney is the only way you can obtain justice. At Musca law, our repeat violence injunction and criminal defense attorneys understand the significance of being saddled with an injunction. Our lawyers understand how onerous living with these restrictions can be. We also understand that even the slightest misstep could lead to criminal charges, incarceration, and the payment of fines. If you face an injunction alleging repeat violence in Clearwater, Florida, then you must contact Musca law at 888-484-5057 today to start your legal defense.
Injunctions for Protection in Pinellas County Florida
The law in Florida authorizes judges to issue various protective injunctions. These injunctions for protection, also referred to as restraining orders and protective orders were designed by Florida’s legislature to afford victims of crime additional protection from the alleged perpetrators. Injunctions for protection against violence not only serve to protect the alleged victim from further violent acts, but they also impose conditions such as no contact, stay away, surrender firearms, and ammunition. Theoretically, the courts compel the alleged offender to obey the court’s ruling by adding the threat of contempt of court and additional criminal prosecution if the alleged offender fails to comply.
Clearwater judges have the discretion under Florida law to issue injunctions such as:
- Repeat Violence Injunctions;
- Sexual Violence Injunctions;
- Domestic Violence Injunctions;
- Stalking Injunctions; and
- Dating Violence Injunctions.
The process to obtain an injunction in Clearwater, Florida, begins when the person who seeks the protection of the court, called the petitioner, files the appropriate pleadings in court. The pleadings are referred to as a petition for injunctive relief. The petition is a document that must be sworn under the pains and penalties of perjury by the person who files it. The petitioner must specifically set out factual allegations against another individual, who is referred to by the court as the respondent when seeking the protection of any one of the five types of injunctions listed previously.
A judge will review the petition immediately after the petitioner submits it to the clerk’s office. At that point, the judge must decide to issue a temporary restraining order, which is only valid for fifteen days. At the end of the maximum fifteen-day period, the court will hold a final hearing on the injunction. At the final hearing on the injunction, the judge will decide whether the petitioner has satisfied the burden to prove that an injunction for protection is necessary, and the judge will also decide for how long the injunction should last. The judge may order the respondent to comply with certain conditions as set out in the order. Those conditions could include staying away from the alleged victim, having no contact with the alleged victim and the alleged victim’s family, staying away from particular locations where the alleged victim is known to frequent, attend mental health counseling at one’s own expense, and surrender all firearms and ammunition to the local law enforcement agency for the duration of the protective order.
The judge can deny the order as well. In which case, the temporary order is extinguished, and the respondent’s rights are restored in full.
Implications of the Final Hearing on an Injunction to Prevent Repeat Violence in Clearwater, Florida
Temporary restraining orders serve to protect the alleged victim in the short term until the judge can conduct a final hearing on the merits of the petition. When the court issues a temporary injunction, the local Sheriff’s Department must serve the respondent with the pleadings on the case, including the judge’s order. At that time, the respondent becomes bound to abide by all of the conditions set forth in the temporary order.
A person who is subject to the conditions of a temporary injunction must align himself or herself with a highly-skilled, aggressive, and reputable attorney to defend his or her rights. Only a knowledgeable attorney who has defended against numerous criminal offenses and petitions for injunctive relief will understand how to best position the client’s interests and achieve the most favorable outcome for the respondent.
Living subject to an order for injunctive relief is incredibly onerous. The judge can issue particular orders that will severely impinge upon the rights of the respondent, which could have life-changing results. Respondents must keep in mind that a violation of any of the terms included in the protective order could result in jail time and other penalties. Accordingly, mounting a vigorous defense against any injunction is essential to protecting one’s liberty.
Injunctions Against Repeat Violence in Clearwater, Florida
A full understanding of the criminal charges that precede petitions for the protection against repeat violence in Clearwater, Florida, will establish a solid foundation upon which a successful defense strategy might be devised. Under §784.046(1)(a) of the Florida Statutes, the term “violence” means “Any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, or false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death, by a person or against any other person.”
The phrase “repeat violence” has a specific meaning under Florida law as well. Under §784.056(b) of the Florida Statutes, “repeat violence” is “two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within six months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member.”
An alleged victim of repeat violence in Clearwater, Florida, has the opportunity to file a petition in court for protection on his or her own behalf or on behalf of the alleged victim who was the minor child of the petitioner. The petitioner must allege in the petition that he or she is in fear for their safety from another act of violence committed by the respondent.
The court applies Florida’s civil law when ruling whether an injunction should issue rather than criminal law, even though an injunction against repeat violence often follows an arrest for a violent crime. Even still, the court in Florida can take significant steps to limit the respondent’s freedom despite the lower standard of proof used in Florida’s civil courts rather than the higher standard of proof required in the criminal court to convict another.
Standing to Seek a Protective Injunction Against Repeat Violence in Clearwater, Florida
Injunctions in Florida require the petitioner to allege a specific relationship with the respondent in most cases. To obtain a repeat violence injunction in Clearwater, Florida, the petitioner must have the legal grounds to file the petition. The legal grounds are known as “standing.” Florida law does not require the victim of repeated violence to have a specific relationship with the respondent. Any relationship could satisfy the requirements of repeat violence injunctions, including roommates, employers and employees, neighbors, friends, and coworkers, in addition to family members and ex-romantic partners.
The petitioner has an obligation to set out as many facts as possible to obtain an order for injunctive relief. The petitioner must set out enough facts to warrant a court to find that there was a crime of violence committed by the respondent, such as assault and battery. The respondent’s reputation is important in these scenarios; however, the petitioner must set out sufficient information describing a violent act rather than summarily stating the person has a violent tendency.
A hearing on the petition for a repeat violence injunction is the sole chance for the respondent to refute the allegations contained in the petition. Having a highly-qualified Clearwater, Florida, repeat violence injunction and criminal defense lawyer from Musca Law by your side at this hearing, you will have the best opportunity to demonstrate why justice demands that the petition must be denied.
Self-Representation is Risky When Defending Against a Clearwater, Florida, Repeat Violence Injunction
Trying to take on the petitioner without a highly skilled attorney by your side is incredibly dangerous. Speaking on your own behalf at a hearing for a repeat violence injunction could erode your rights against self-incrimination. However, a knowledgeable and skilled injunction defense lawyer will be able to present your case persuasively while maintaining and preserving your rights against self-incrimination.
Some individuals believe that they understand the facts and circumstances of the case as well as the personalities of all the parties involved, and therefore they believe they are qualified to represent themselves at a hearing for repeat violence injunction. A judge in a Clearwater court will expect all litigants to follow the legal procedures established by Florida’s Rules of Court. Without having a detailed understanding of the legal procedure involved in hearings for repeat violence injunctions, a self-represented party could find themselves at the mercy of the court.
Discussing your case with any member of the Florida bar will not be sufficient to protect all of your interests that could be compromised if a judge rules against you. Florida has many excellent and well-qualified attorneys who are highly competent in their respected areas of practice. Their credentials do not mean that they are qualified to vigorously defend a person who is facing the substantial consequences that could flow from being subject to an injunction against repeat violence.
A Clearwater, Florida, lawyer who has decades of experience defending clients against criminal allegations, as well as petitions against injunctions, is the only attorney qualified to handle your case. A person who is facing an injunction against repeat violence will most likely face criminal charges as well. Therefore, it is crucial to defending and preserving your rights to have an injunction defense lawyer, who also practices criminal law, represents you. Having the same lawyer represent you at both legal actions gives you the best chance to establish and solidify successful defense in the injunction hearing and in the criminal matter.
Consequences of Living Subject to an Injunction Against Repeat Violence in Clearwater, Florida
The consequences of living subject to a repeat violence injunction in Clearwater, Florida, are significant. That is why aligning yourself with a highly-skilled, and seasoned defense attorney is necessary to preserve your way of life. Otherwise, you could be subject to conditions and consequences such as:
- following strict rules established by the judge in the injunction order;
- facing criminal penalties like incarceration fines terms of probation and other conditions for violating even one term of a repeat violence injunction in Clearwater, Florida;
- diminished or tarnished reputation in the community which could impede your ability to routine employment, obtain housing, attend school, or apply for a loan because a public record search can reveal the existence of the protective injunction filed against you;
- Surrender all firearms, including shotguns and long rifles, along with all of your ammo to the local police or sheriff’s department for the duration of the order; and
- Submit to mental health treatment and counseling, if ordered by the judge.
Terminating or Modifying an Injunction Against Repeat Violence in Clearwater, Florida
Injunctions for repeat violence are generally permanent. However, that does not mean that the orders cannot be modified or even terminated at some future point. If a judge set an expiration date in the order itself, then the order will terminate by its own terms on the date specified by the judge. If there is no expiration date established by the judge, then the order is considered to be a permanent order.
A repeat violence injunction in Clearwater, Florida, can be vacated modified dissolved or changed after filing a motion with the court and specifying all of the reasons why the order should be vacated, terminated, or modified. The moving party has an obligation to prove why there is no longer a need for the repeat violence injunction to remain in effect. Either party can file a motion seeking to modify, terminate, or vacate a repeat violence injunction order in Clearwater, Florida.
Extending an Order Against Repeat Violence in Clearwater, Florida
The petitioner must follow up with the court if the judge sets an expiration date for the injunction. The petitioner has to file a motion asking the court to extend the order about one month before the expiration of the order. Filing the motion 30 days in advance of the expiration date gives the respondent an opportunity to refute the allegations and ask the court to dismiss the order once again. A person who receives a motion to extend a repeat violence injunction order must contact a highly reputable Clearwater, Florida, injunction defense, and criminal defense attorney to assist them in opposing the motion to extend the order.
Mounting a Vigorous Defense Against a Repeat Offender Injunction in Clearwater, Florida
Mounting a successful defense begins with consulting the right attorney. A seasoned Clearwater, Florida, criminal defense, an injunction defense attorney will understand the best way to defend against the case. An attorney with the resources, dedication, and commitment to protecting the respondent’s rights will thoroughly investigate all of the facts surrounding the petition. A knowledgeable and skilled attorney will consider factors such as:
- The relationship between the parties involved;
- The criminal histories of all of the parties;
- The existence of witnesses who might be able to support or rebut the petitioner’s allegations;
- The possibility of an alibi defense;
- The existence of criminal charges that arose from the complain made by the petitioner;
- Whether the petitioner has a habit of lying or misrepresenting facts while under oath; and
- The existence of documentary or physical evidence such as phone messages, text messages, voicemails, emails, social media posts, photographs, or medical records.
Since no two cases are alike, every defense strategy will depend on the particular facts of the case and the parties involved. Each strategy will be dictated by the relative strength of the evidence. In one case, hey client might have several witnesses who could provide an alibi for the time when the petitioner says the respondent committed a violent act against the petitioner. In other cases, the defense might rest on impugning the petitioner’s story and diminishing his or her credibility. In any event, a seasoned criminal defense and injunction defense attorney from Clearwater, Florida, will weigh all the facts and circumstances to establish the most effective defense possible, not only when defending against an injunction against repeat violent offenses, but also in any concurrent criminal cases.
Do Not Hesitate: Call Musca Law Today!
Musca Law’s Clearwater criminal defense attorneys are available 24/7 by calling 888-484-5057. Our experienced defense lawyers have a well-earned reputation for advocacy in courts all across Florida, including those in the Clearwater, Florida, area. We understand the potential repercussions a repeat violent offender injunction could have on your life. Call us before you speak with anyone about this important legal issue. Your liberty, freedom, and way of life depend upon it.