Injunctions Defense Lawyers in Tallahassee, Florida (FL)
Tallahassee, Florida Injunction Laws, Types of Injunctions, Processes, and Defenses
Temporary Injunction for Protection in Tallahassee, Florida
Most people are familiar with the terms “restraining order,” “order of protection,” and “injunction.” But, the meaning of these terms will vary based on the conduct in question. In most cases, individuals seek injunctions and restraining orders when they feel their personal safety is being threatened and that they are at imminent risk of suffering physical harm or death.
Simply put, injunctions are court orders that prevent a person or party from taking certain actions. One of the most common types of injunctions in Florida is the temporary injunction for protection, which is also known as a restraining order preventing one person from coming into contact (within certain parameters) of another person either on a short-term basis, or indefinitely. A person wishing to obtain a temporary injunction or restraining order against another person must demonstrate to a court that a restraining order is necessary to protect personal safety and prevent future harm.
The person asking for a court to issue a restraining order is the “petitioner,” and the person against whom the petitioner is seeking protection is called the “respondent.” The petitioner may seek to file a petition on his or her own behalf or on behalf of a loved one, such as a child. In some cases, the petition may seek protection for both the petitioner and close family members.
Under Florida law, a court-issued injunction or restraining order prohibits the respondent from contacting the petitioner. However, to obtain a restraining order, the petitioner will have to provide evidence of his or her allegations, and unfortunately, many allegations contained in a petition for a restraining order are embellished or false.
The stakes are high when facing a possible restraining order. As such, if you have received an injunction or restraining order or believe someone may be in the process of seeking an injunction or restraining order against you, it is crucial to discuss your situation with a Tallahassee, Florida Injunction Defense Lawyer. At Musca Law, our team of highly skilled criminal defense lawyers routinely help clients fight restraining orders and other types of injunctions. If you are facing any type of injunction, act quickly to discuss your situation with Musca Law today by calling (888) 484-5057.
The Serious Consequences Associated with Violating a Restraining Order
Depending on the severity of the situation, a person who violates a restraining order or any other type of injunction faces criminal charges under Florida law ranging from a first-degree misdemeanor resulting in potential jail time for up to one year, to a third-degree felony resulting in potential jail time for up to five years, depending on the specific facts and circumstances underlying the injunction order.
Additionally, some individuals may be forced to pay significant fines, may be subjected to years of probation, and may have a permanently tarnished criminal record. The bottom line is that without the assistance of a qualified Tallahassee, Florida Injunction Defense Lawyer, you will have a tough road ahead when fighting an injunction against you in court or fighting allegations that you have violated an injunction order.
Understanding the Various Types of Criminal-Related Injunctions in Tallahassee, Florida
Domestic Violence Injunctions in Tallahassee, Florida
Under Florida law, domestic violence encompasses numerous criminal offenses including battery, assault, stalking, false imprisonment, and any other criminal offense that causes physical injury or death to another household or family member. When seeking a domestic violence injunction, the petitioner must prove that he or she lives or has lived with the respondent, or that the petitioner and respondent share a child. The petitioner must demonstrate that he or she has been a victim of domestic violence or has a “reasonable belief” that he or she will become a victim of domestic violence if continuing to live in the same situation.
Dating Violence Injunctions in Tallahassee, Florida
Under Florida law, “dating violence” is similar to domestic violence except that the individuals involved in an ongoing romantic or intimate relationship do not live with one another and/or do not share a child with one another. A petitioner alleging dating violence must demonstrate that either the dating relationship is still active, or if it is inactive, that the relationship was active and in effect for at least six months preceding the date the dating violence injunction is filed.
Stalking Injunctions in Tallahassee, Florida
Florida law defines stalking as “malicious, intentional, and repetitive” following or harassment of a person. Someone with stalking allegations against another person may choose to file a petition seeking a stalking injunction, preventing the alleged stalker from coming into contact with the purported victim. Under Florida law, stalking goes beyond the physical following of another person, and includes stalking by electronic means, also known as cyberstalking. Any communication that is transmitted electronically, such as, among others, texting, email, or direct messaging via social media sites, may be covered by Florida’s stalking statute.
Repeat Violence Injunctions in Tallahassee, Florida
If a person alleges that he or she is the victim of a repeat act of violence or stalking from another person within six months of filing the first petition citing allegations, the purported victim may choose to file a subsequent petition for a repeat violence injunction. To meet the definition of “repeat violence” under Florida law, the violence or stalking must be inflicted upon the petitioner or upon a member of the petitioner’s immediate family.
Sexual Violence Injunctions in Tallahassee, Florida
Acts of sexual violence may be grounds for the issuance of an injunction/restraining order under Florida law. Acts of sexual violence include, but may not be limited to, sexual battery, lewd acts against children, and committing or attempting to commit sexual acts in the course of a forcible felony. An existing criminal case does not need to exist for an individual to pursue and obtain a sexual violence injunction. The same is true for a prior criminal charge that has been dismissed.
Understanding the Injunction Process in Tallahassee, Florida
In Florida, the first act that begins the injunction process is the petition filed by the victim alleging acts of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, repeat violence, or stalking. The petitioner may request either a temporary injunction/restraining order or a permanent injunction.
However, it is highly unlikely a petitioner will obtain a permanent injunction when the petition is the first instance of an alleged violent act. For a petitioner to obtain a temporary injunction/restraining order, he or she must demonstrate to the judge that “clear and convincing” evidence of an act of violence or stalking exists. In most cases, a judge will immediately issue a temporary injunction/restraining order without having a hearing.
The court will subsequently schedule a hearing to address whether a permanent injunction order is necessary for the safety of the victim. The hearing is scheduled to occur fifteen days after a judge issues the temporary injunction/restraining order. At this time, the respondent has an opportunity to present evidence refuting the allegations cited in the petition. Because this final hearing determines whether a permanent injunction order will be issued, it is critical to allow a Tallahassee, Florida Injunction Defense Lawyer to handle the matter as the respondent’s rights and interests are on the line.
A Temporary Injunction/Restraining Order is Effective for Fifteen Days
A temporary injunction/restraining order in Tallahassee, Florida lasts for fifteen days, which does not provide a respondent much time to obtain a lawyer to defend him or herself in court at the final hearing. As such, a respondent facing a temporary injunction/restraining order should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after becoming aware of, or being served with, the temporary injunction/restraining order. Depending on the specific facts of the case, a judge may choose to extend or “continue” a temporary injunction/restraining order in his or her discretion.
Temporary Injunction/Restraining Order Versus Permanent Injunction
Under Florida law, a temporary injunction and restraining order are essentially the same thing – a temporary order from the court that prevents the respondent from coming into contact with the victim/petitioner at least until the matter is decided fifteen days later at the permanent injunction hearing. Once that hearing happens, a court will decide whether to permanently prevent the respondent from coming into contact with the petitioner. As such, a permanent injunction is essentially a restraining order that has no expiration date.
Permanent Injunctions Have No Set End-Date
Once a permanent injunction is issued in Tallahassee, Florida, the order remains in effect until the order is modified or dissolved by the court. Either the petitioner or respondent may seek modification or dissolution of the permanent injunction at a later date. At such time, either or both parties can present information or evidence supporting their desire to terminate the permanent injunction. However, it is ultimately up to the judge whether an injunction order should be modified/altered or dissolved/terminated.
After the Permanent Injunction – What to Expect
The criminal consequences of violating an injunction/restraining order are serious enough, but the consequences of being the subject of an injunction/restraining order can make one feel like a criminal even when criminal charges are absent. For example, a respondent always has to be on the lookout to ensure he or she does not come into contact with the petitioner. If both parties run into each other at the grocery store, the petitioner may choose to call the police and allege the respondent violated the injunction/restraining order.
When a Petition for an Injunction/Restraining Order is Used to Harass or Harm Another Person
While victims of violence and abuse should be protected under Florida law, some individuals take advantage of the system and assert false or misleading allegations in a petition for the sole purpose of harming the respondent’s reputation or to cause harm in the form of limiting the respondent’s rights in a family matter proceeding (such as a divorce or custody matter). Even though filing a false police report or petition is unlawful, many petitioners get away with such conduct.
The Uneasiness Associated with a Permanent Injunction
The fear of being arrested at any given moment for simply going about your daily life can be emotionally distressing. Therefore, if you are facing an injunction/restraining order, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to obtain the counsel and advice of a Tallahassee, Florida Injunction Defense Lawyer. At Musca Law, we have witnessed just how debilitating an injunction/restraining order can be, especially when the petitioner’s allegations are unsupported by evidence or are outright false.
Violating an Injunction/Restraining Order Can Expose You to Severe Criminal Consequences
An injunction/restraining order is issued by a judge as a civil matter as such an order does not require that a respondent has been charged with any crime. However, violation of an injunction/restraining order can result in criminal charges, some of which have very serious consequences. If a person violates an injunction/restraining order, he or she could face a first-degree misdemeanor which may result in a one-year jail sentence as well as the imposition of a fine up to $1,000.
It is also important to keep in mind that a respondent who violates an injunction/restraining order cannot purchase or possess a firearm or ammunition while the matter is being addressed in court. Additionally, violation of an injunction/restraining order can threaten the respondent’s employment as well as the respondent’s chances of renting a home, applying for credit, or applying to attend a college or university. The consequences of violating an injunction/restraining order go beyond jail time and fines. Having a tarnished criminal record is something that can last for many years or indefinitely if the criminal offense cannot be removed from one’s record.
Courts Typically Side with the Petitioner When Addressing Potential Violations of Injunctions/Restraining Orders
Regardless of the underlying facts and circumstances of a person’s case, courts will scrutinize a respondent’s actions more so than the respondent’s actions in alleging that an injunction/restraining order has been violated. Because there are numerous victims of violence and abuse, courts tend to err on the side of protecting the victim, even if in some cases, the underlying allegations of violence or abuse are unfounded.
If you or a loved one has been accused of violating an injunction or restraining order in Tallahassee, Florida, consider contacting Musca Law today as the judge addressing your matter is not likely to sympathize with your situation. Having an advocate stand by your side and argue on your behalf and make the difference between facing serious criminal charges and a dismissal or reduction of criminal charges. After all, your legal rights are on the line.
Challenging and Defending Against an Injunction or Protective/Restraining – Choosing the Right Lawyer
If you are the subject of an injunction or restraining order, or if you have been accused of violating an existing injunction order, you have legal rights that include your right to defend yourself against allegations. However, to adequately defend yourself, it is in your best interest to leave the matter in the hands of a lawyer who handles similar criminal matters on a regular basis. The risk of defending yourself on your own is that you may unknowingly compromise your legal rights and find yourself in a jail cell.
Additionally, while there are numerous qualified public defenders in Tallahassee, Florida, public defenders do not always have the necessary time and resources to provide every client with a solid defense to criminal allegations. A skilled private law firm typically has the manpower, resources, and dedication to present a full court press when defending against the imposition of an injunction order or allegations that you have violated an injunction order.
Musca Law is a private law firm that is well-known throughout the state of Florida. The Tallahassee Defense Lawyers of Musca Law leave no stone unturned and vigorously defend each client’s rights and interests to the fullest extent possible. While choosing a law firm like Musca Law will cost money, the superior quality of the legal representation is well worth it in the end, as you may avoid jail time and may move forward without a tarnished record. While no attorney can guarantee certain results, by working with a well-known reputable firm like Musca Law, you are in a good position to reach a conclusion that is fair given the facts of your situation.
Contact the Leon County, Florida Injunction Defense Lawyers of Musca Law Today
Even the most minor of criminal charges can wreak havoc on your life, posing a threat to your clean criminal record. As such, act quickly to seek guidance you need during a stressful and scary time. At Musca Law, you will be in good hands as our legal team has decades of experience and the reputation you need and deserve in a qualified lawyer. To discuss your situation or that of a loved one with one of our lawyers, contact Musca Law today by calling (888) 484-5057. We are available 24/7 to discuss your legal matter.