Protective Injunction for Repeat Violence Defense Lawyers in Naples, Florida
Protective injunctions serve the purpose of protecting victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual violence, among other crimes. However, protective injunctions can also severely compromise the rights of an accused individual. A person defending himself or herself against a permanent protective injunction faces long-term consequences that can make the person’s life very difficult. While protective injunctions are essential in some circumstances, many petitions for a protective injunction are without merit. Injunctions are civil court orders that must be followed. Individuals who violate protective injunctions face criminal penalties.
If you are facing a repeat violence injunction, you are at risk of losing your right to possess a firearm or ammunition. Additional legal rights may also be on the line. As such, act swiftly to seek the advice of Musca Law. Our Naples Repeat Violence Injunction Defense Attorneys know all too well what can happen if a person is subject to a permanent protective injunction. Our legal team has a reputation for providing outstanding legal representation to clients throughout Naples and the rest of the state of Florida. Contact Musca Law today by calling (888) 484-5057 to find out how we can help you fight a Naples repeat violence injunction.
Protective Injunctions in Collier County, Florida
Under Florida law, there are five types of protective injunctions that prevent individuals from taking specific action. These five protective injunctions, also known as protective orders and restraining orders, include the following:
- Domestic Violence Injunctions;
- Dating Violence Injunctions;
- Repeat Violence Injunctions;
- Stalking Injunctions; and
- Sexual Violence Injunctions.
With all protective injunctions in Florida, the person seeking the injunction (known as the “petitioner”) files a petition in court, which is a sworn document. The petition sets forth allegations against another person (known as the “respondent”), and the petition will seek one or more of the five types of injunctions identified above.
When seeking a protective injunction, a judge must quickly decide whether to grant or deny the petition on a temporary basis. Because of the nature of protective injunctions – that they involve conduct which, if true, may place a person at risk – many courts are likely to grant petitions for injunctions on a temporary basis. A temporary injunction remains in place for no longer than fifteen (15) days, at which time a hearing is held to determine whether the injunction should become permanent or be denied.
Understanding the Injunction Process in Naples, Florida
Once a person files a petition for a protective injunction, the judge will decide whether to grant or deny the injunction on a temporary basis. If a judge grants a temporary protective injunction, a hearing date will be scheduled where both parties are to appear to present their sides of the case. After the temporary injunction is entered/ordered by the court, the Sheriff will serve a copy of the injunction on the respondent. The respondent will be notified of the hearing date where he or she is to appear and fight the protective injunction.
At the time of the hearing, the respondent must have a skilled attorney by his or her side to present evidence and witness testimony to challenge the allegations identified in the petition for a protective injunction. The judge has the sole discretion to rule either in favor of the petitioner and grant a permanent protective injunction or to deny the petition. The outcome of a protective injunction hearing can be life-changing if the judge determines an injunction should be permanent. Any violation of an injunction results in criminal penalties in the form of jail time and monetary fines.
Repeat Violence Injunctions in Naples, Florida
Florida Statute Section 784.046(1)(a) defines “violence” as “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.” Florida Statute Section 784.056(b) defines “repeat violence” as “two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member.”
The victim of repeat violence has standing to file a petition in court seeking a Naples repeat violence injunction on behalf of him or herself or on behalf of a victim who is a minor child. To obtain a repeat violence injunction, the victim/petitioner must fear that he or she will be subject to another repeat act of violence.
If granted, a respondent must turn over all firearms and ammunition to law enforcement officers, a harsh consequence of a civil order that does not – in and of itself – result in jail time or monetary fines. Instead, a respondent is required to follow the rules outlined in the injunction order, and any violation of even one portion of the injunction order may result in criminal penalties.
Who Has Grounds to Seek a Repeat Violence Injunction in Naples, Florida?
A substantial number of repeat violence injunctions in Naples, Florida, involve family or household members. However, petitioners do not need to have a domestic relationship with a respondent to have grounds/standing to seek a repeat violence injunction. Florida law allows any victim of repeat violence – regardless of the underlying relationship between the petitioner and respondent – to seek a repeat violence injunction. Examples of underlying relationships that may be the subject of a repeat violence injunction include, but are not be limited to, roommates, co-workers, employers and employees, neighbors, and friends.
However, a victim still must support his/her petition for repeat injunction by proving that the respondent committed an act of violence, such as an assault or battery. The mere knowledge that a respondent has “violent tendencies” is not enough to prove the respondent is a violent person and committed a violent act as defined under Florida law.
A repeat violence injunction hearing is the only opportunity for a respondent to present evidence to refute the petitioner’s claims. Even if a petitioner believes the allegations to be accurate, the facts and evidence may not support such allegations. With a qualified Naples Repeat Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer, a respondent will be in a strong position to show the court why a permanent repeat violence injunction should be denied and how granting/sustaining such an injunction would detrimentally harm the respondent’s rights.
The Severe Consequences of Being the Subject of a Naples Repeat Violence Injunction
If a respondent is unsuccessful in convincing a judge that a repeat violence injunction should be denied, he or she faces a long list of consequences which include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:
- The requirement to follow strict rules outlined in the injunction order, such as remaining a certain distance away from the petitioner and avoiding all contact (physical and by electronic means) with the petitioner;
- The risk of harsh criminal penalties, such as jail times, hefty monetary fines, and probation, among others, for violating a repeat violence injunction;
- A tarnished reputation which may make it challenging to keep or obtain employment, rent an apartment or house, or attend a college or university (a public records search will likely reveal the existence of a protective injunction);
- The requirement that a respondent hand over his/her firearms and ammunition; and
- The requirement (at the judge’s discretion) that a respondent undergoes mental health treatment at the respondent’s expense.
Even though a respondent is not convicted of a crime by being the subject of a permanent repeat violence injunction in Naples, the consequences feel like criminal penalties. In a way, a protective injunction matter is “quasi-criminal” in that the underlying conduct at issue may be defined under Florida law as a crime, but the matter being addressed is civil. As such, a repeat violence injunction involves a mix of both civil and criminal law.
Because the consequences of a permanent repeat violence injunction can be so catastrophic, it is imperative to allow a reputable and proven Naples Repeat Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer to handle an injunction matter in court. Defending oneself in court is dangerous territory as respondents will not have the knowledge and resources of an attorney who spends his/her career representing the rights of individuals accused of crimes and/or conduct that may be the subject of a protective injunction.
How to Terminate or Modify an Existing Naples Repeat Violence Injunction
While repeat violence injunctions are permanent, they may be subject to termination or modification. If the repeat violence injunction is set to expire, then the injunction will terminate and no longer be valid after the expiration date. If, on the other hand, no date is provided for the termination of the injunction, a respondent must seek termination or modification of the repeat violence injunction by filing a motion in court. A respondent wishing to terminate or modify a repeat violence injunction in Naples should discuss the situation with a Naples Repeat Violence Injunction Defense Attorney before taking any steps.
A repeat violence injunction can only be vacated, modified, changed, dissolved, or dismissed through the court. To obtain relief from a repeat violence injunction, the moving party must prove that the facts and circumstances that supported the need for a repeat violence injunction are no longer in effect such that keeping the injunction in effect serves no valid purpose.
Extending a Naples, Florida Repeat Violence Injunction – What You Should Know
If a Naples repeat violence injunction has an expiration date, a petitioner can seek to extend the injunction by filing a motion with the court. However, the petitioner must file the motion before the original injunction expires. A judge will then review the underlying petition and repeat violence injunction order as well as any actions the respondent took after the repeat violence injunction was sustained.
Defending Against Repeat Violence Injunctions in Naples, Florida
A respondent’s successful defense at the repeat violence injunction hearing is paramount to preserving the respondent’s rights, interests, and livelihood. While judges do have the sole discretion to rule whether a permanent repeat violence injunction should be sustained/granted, having a solid defense to refute the allegations identified in the petition is the best chance a respondent has to prove why the judge should deny the injunction.
A good defense starts with a qualified Naples Repeat Violence Injunction Defense Attorney who will thoroughly evaluate a client’s situation to determine the best way to defend the client against an injunction in court. An attorney with the right experience, resources, dedication, and reputation will leave no stone unturned and will evaluate numerous factors concerning a petition for a repeat violence injunction which include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The nature of the relationship between the petitioner and the respondent;
- Whether either the petitioner or respondent has a criminal history, and if so, the nature of the crimes;
- Whether the petitioner and respondent have one or more children together;
- Whether there are any witnesses to support or refute the petitioner’s allegations;
- Whether there are any documents or communications (such as emails, text messages, voicemails, and letters, etc.) that support or refute the petitioner’s allegations;
- Whether any medical records exist which may support or refute the petitioner’s allegations (if any physical abuse has been alleged and the petitioner has received treatment);
- Whether there is any pending criminal proceeding which has the same underlying facts and allegations identified in the petition for repeat violence injunction; and
- Whether the petitioner has any motive for presenting false allegations in the petition (which is a document signed under oath).
Every client’s situation is unique. Likewise, every client’s legal strategy is unique. While the process for defending against a Naples repeat violence injunction will be similar for all clients, how a client’s case will be presented in court will be different. Perhaps witnesses will be extremely helpful to one client’s case, while witnesses will be harmful to another client’s case. Additionally, one client may have exculpatory evidence that proves his or her innocence. In contrast, another client may only have his/her word as to whether an allegation is true or false.
Regardless of how many good or bad facts a client has, the attorney handling the matter must shape the best possible defense to help his or her client have a better chance of achieving a result that is fair given the facts of the case. Any holes an attorney can poke in a petitioner’s case will be helpful to a successful defense. For instance, if the examples of repeat violence alleged in the petition occurred on dates when the respondent was not near the petitioner, the respondent’s attorney can present evidence proving where the respondent was at the time of the alleged acts of violence.
Why it is Not Advisable to Defend Yourself in Court Against a Naples Repeat Violence Injunction
While most petitioners coming forward and seeking repeat violence injunctions are being truthful, not all petitions are accurate. In many cases, some facts may be credible but do not tell the full story. In other cases, the allegations contained in a petition may be outright false. If a respondent goes to court without understanding the gravity of the situation – that a court-ordered repeat violence injunction will effectively limit his or her rights in many ways – the respondent is setting the stage to provide the judge with little options other than to grant the petition.
As such, every respondent should have superior legal counsel. There are numerous qualified attorneys throughout Naples, but having an attorney who specializes in criminal law and protective injunctions is the best way to ensure a respondent is protecting his or her rights in court. Every decision the respondent’s attorney makes should be for the benefit of only the respondent.
All too often, individuals facing a legal dilemma find a friend who is an attorney to help. This attorney may be an excellent business litigation attorney or medical malpractice attorney, or perhaps this attorney handles driving under the influence (DUI) charges but does not handle any other criminal matters.
While this attorney certainly has qualifications in some areas of the law, this attorney lacks the necessary experience to successfully represent a person’s rights in court when defending against a serious Naples repeat violence injunction. An attorney who does not routinely handle protective injunction matters should not agree to represent someone facing a protective injunction. However, some attorneys lacking the requisite experience choose to help a friend out or venture into a new area of law at a time when the client truly needs someone who handles protective injunction matters day in and day out.
Contact Musca Law Today to Learn More About Your Legal Rights and Options
If you are facing a potential repeat violence injunction or any other type of protective injunction or restraining order in Naples, Florida, your legal rights are on the line, and you deserve a true advocate to represent your legal rights in court. Do not act alone by defending yourself without an attorney. At Musca Law, our team of seasoned Naples Defense Lawyers works tooth and nail to protect the rights and interests of their clients. Without an experienced and reputable attorney by your side, you are at a disadvantage in court. Fighting a protective injunction on your own is a high-risk decision to make. As such, consider speaking with Musca Law to discuss your situation right away. Contact our office today by calling (888) 484-5057.