Repeat Violence Injunction Defense Lawyers in Orlando, Florida
It is unlawful in Florida to engage in battery, assault, sexual crimes, and stalking. Even threatening to commit these crimes can lead to a criminal conviction. In most instances, conduct that is violent can result in charges being brought against the alleged offender. Notwithstanding, in some cases, violence may become subject to an injunction, which is a proceeding in civil court. However, it often presents like a criminal issue despite the fact that the injunction does not result in penalties such as imprisonment, probation, etc. (except if violated).
As noted above, an injunction is a civil remedy that aims to prevent violent behavior. In Orlando, any individual can seek an injunction on his or her own behalf and/or on behalf of a minor child. The injunction serves to prevent the alleged offender, known as the respondent, from coming into close contact with the alleged victim, known as the petitioner. When pursuing an injunction, a petitioner can seek five types of injunctions available under Florida law, including a repeat violence injunction. A person can seek a repeat violence injunction when he or she has been the victim of more than one violent act, one of which must have occurred within six months prior to the time that the petitioner files the petition with the court.
Many people who seek a repeat violence injunction may believe that they are in danger of being subject to violent behavior. There may also be a fear that a minor child may also be in jeopardy. However, it is not uncommon for a person to pursue a repeat violence injunction based upon a misstatement of the facts or completely false information. This can be detrimental to the person subject to the injunction, as it can lead to serious legal consequences.
Any individual who is a respondent in a repeat violence injunction case, or who may be subject to any other type of injunction, must contact a skilled Orlando Repeat Violence Injunction Defense Attorney as soon as possible, as the repercussions of an injunction can negatively and permanently affect the life of the respondent. At Musca Law, our team of experienced Repeat Violence Defense Attorneys have handled countless injunction cases, and are ready now to help you learn more about your legal rights and options. To speak with one of our lawyers, you can contact us at (888) 484-5057.
What are the Different Forms of Injunctions in Orlando, Florida?
For anyone who is pursuing an injunction in Orlando must submit to the court a petition using an approved form which provides for the type of injunction requested and a detailed summary of the facts that support the request for an injunction. There are five types of injunctions under Florida law that a petitioner can seek, including:
- Domestic Violence Injunction;
- Stalking Injunction;
- Repeat Violence Injunction;
- Sexual Violence Injunction; and
- Dating Violence Injunction.
Once an individual submits to the court a petition for an injunction, the court will examine the petition and render a determination as to whether to grant or deny a temporary injunction. If the temporary injunction is granted, a final hearing will be scheduled fifteen days later. A respondent is then served with a copy of the petition, the temporary injunction order, and the date and time of the final hearing. The respondent must then immediately contact a skilled Orlando Repeat Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer, as fifteen days is not a lot of time to prepare for a strong defense strategy. At the final hearing, the respondent and petitioner appear to argue their side of the case. An experienced defense attorney is critical at this stage because they know the court procedure and the judge, and can present the respondent’s case to give him or her the best chance of receiving a favorable outcome.
Florida Law Governing Repeat Violence Injunctions
Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 784.046(1)(a), “violence” is defined 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.” Moreover, Statute Section 784.056(b) “repeat violence” is defined as “two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, one of which must have been within 6 [(six)] months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member.”
The consequences of a repeat violence injunction are severe and can negatively affect the respondent for years to come. Even if the respondent is not facing criminal charges, he or she will be faced with criminal-like repercussions from an Orlando repeat violence injunction. For instance, the respondent may have to surrender his or her ammunition and firearms. In addition, the respondent may be forced to seek a mental health evaluation and treatment, if needed. If a repeat violence injunction is violated, then the respondent could face criminal charges. Hence, a respondent should treat an injunction as seriously as any criminal offense.
What is Needed to File a Repeat Violence Injunction in Orange County Florida
Orlando repeat violence injunction cases are commonly sought by household members or family, such as ex-spouses, spouses, children, parents, and significant others. Notwithstanding, in some instances, repeat violence injunctions may be sought to prevent ongoing violence from others such as co-workers, neighbors, friends, or even complete strangers in the case of cyberstalking or stalking. Repeat violence injunctions can be pursued regardless of the type of relationship between the respondent and petitioner.
In a repeat violence injunction matter, the petitioner must establish that that there was more than one act of violence that occurred within six months before the time that he or she filed the petition.
Judges in Orlando often exercise caution when determining whether to deny or grant a temporary injunction. When the petition is filed, a petitioner does not need to provide evidence with the court’s form however, it does help his or her case. The final hearing is when the judge will examine the facts in detail and determine the veracity of the petition.
Given the fact that the safety and health of Orlando citizens are of the greatest importance, judges often give the petitioner the benefit of the doubt when determining whether to grant a repeat violence injunction. Specifically, judges weigh the benefits and costs in each case, ultimately determining that the petitioner’s safety outweighs the negative consequences experienced by the respondent once a repeat violence is in place. This is not to suggest that judges always grant repeat violence injunctions, as many petitioners in Florida file petitions that contain false allegations in order to exact revenge against the respondent. This often occurs when one spouse is attempting to gain an advantage in a divorce case. Judges prefer that a petition is supported with documentation, including phone logs, texts, and email exchanges, when determining whether to grant or deny a temporary injunction. In essence, judges want petitioners to bring forth enough evidence to demonstrate that they are at risk of repeat violence in order to decide whether to grant a temporary injunction and schedule a final hearing in the matter.
The Repeat Violence Injunction Hearing Process in Orlando, Florida
Once a judge grants a temporary repeat violence injunction, the respondent will have the opportunity to challenge and/or explain the allegations raised in the petition. A skilled Orlando Repeat Violence Injunction Defense Attorney will bring forth evidence to demonstrate that the allegations raised by the petitioner are exaggerated, misleading, completely false, or that they do not meet the necessary requirements under Florida law to warrant a repeat violence injunction. Evidence that can be presented to the court often includes electronic communications (such as text messages, emails, social media postings) and letters, a petitioner’s criminal record, voicemails, etc.
The Consequences of a Repeat Violence Injunction in Orlando, Florida
If a respondent is not successful in challenging a repeat violence injunction during the final hearing, he or she will face many serious repercussions. This includes having to undergo a mental health evaluation and treatment, if necessary (at his or her own expense), the inability to contact the petitioner, whether directly or indirectly such as through a family member or friend), difficulty finding housing, gainful employment, and obtaining a bank loan, social stigma, the loss of one’s job, criminal charges if the repeat violence injunction is violated, the inability to remain in a shared dwelling, and the requirement to stay away from the petitioner.
Given the above-stated consequences, the respondent must contact a skilled and experienced Orlando Repeat Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer as soon as possible in order to challenge the petition and raise the strongest defense case possible.
Terminating or Modifying a Repeat Violence Injunction in Orlando, Florida
A repeat violence injunction in Orlando may not include an expiration date. Meaning, it will last forever. Notwithstanding, the petitioner and/or the respondent may seek to have the repeat violence injunction modified or terminated by submitting to the court a motion requesting same. The judge will then ascertain whether there are grounds to modify or terminate the repeat violence injunction.
There are several reasons why a party seeks to modify or terminate an Orland repeat violence injunction. The respondent and petitioner may make amends, or one of the parties moves out of the area such that the injunction is no longer needed. After a motion to modify or terminate a repeat violence injunction is presented to the court, each party will have the chance to present his or her case, either opposing or supporting a motion to modify or terminate the repeat violence injunction.
Extending the Time Frame of a Repeat Violence Injunction in Orlando, Florida
In the event that an Orlando repeat violence injunction is set to expire, the petitioner can seek the court’s relief in extending it through a motion that is submitted to the court. The motion must be filed before the injunction expires. The judge will then review all of the evidence as well as hear the arguments raised by each of the parties in determining whether to extend the timeframe of a repeat violence injunction in Orlando.
Challenging a Repeat Violence Injunction in Orlando, Florida
Repeat violence proceedings can be stressful as well as challenging, however, a competent attorney can make the process a lot less daunting. However, when determining to hire an attorney, it is important to make sure that he or she has significant experience in both criminal law and injunction matters. Otherwise stated, it is vital that the respondent work with an attorney who knows the judges, the court’s procedure, has the requisite skills, experience, and expertise, and who has a stellar reputation in the community.
Keep in mind that even with a skilled attorney, a judge in Orlando may determine that a repeat violence injunction is warranted. However, the odds generally increase when a respondent is working alongside of an aggressive and diligent attorney. The right attorney will conduct an in depth examination of the petitioner’s allegations to determine the veracity of the facts contained in the petition. He or she will also develop the strongest defense strategy possible. Specifically, an experienced attorney knows what is at stake and the steps necessary to persuade the judge that a repeat violence injunction is unwarranted.
Defending Yourself Against a Repeat Violence Injunction in Orlando, Florida
Every person has the right to represent themselves in court, no matter whether it is a criminal or civil proceeding. Some cases can easily be handled without a lawyer present, such as a case brought in a small claim’s court. However, civil injunctions and criminal matters are extremely serious, and many of those who represent themselves lose the case because they are not familiar with the judge, the court procedure, and the applicable law. They may also lack the experience to properly challenge a petition for a repeat violence injunction in Orlando. Even if you are a lawyer, it is not recommended that you represent yourself, as it is critical to work with an attorney who regularly handles injunction cases. While representing yourself saves money, the repercussions of a repeat violence injunction could be much costlier.
Moreover, Orlando Repeat Violence Injunction Attorneys have the necessary skills and resources that a person who represents themselves does not typically have, such as the funds, manpower, experience, and knowledge how a judge typically decides. Such resources are vital in order to successfully challenge a repeat violence injunction. These are all attributes that often result in a dismissal of a case against a respondent.
When representing a respondent in a repeat violence injunction case, an attorney is familiar with all of the defenses that may apply in one’s case. Such defenses include, without limitation, the following:
- The petitioner knowingly made false statements and/or allegations in the petition;
- The petitioner misstated the facts and/or allegations in the petition;
- The petitioner misrepresented the facts and/or allegations in the petition;
- The petitioner did not present sufficient evidence to warrant a repeat violence injunction; and/or
- The petitioner’s allegations are not supported by the facts.
Contact Musca Law Today – Your Freedom and Livelihood are at Stake
Facing a repeat violence injunction in Orlando is a very serious matter. Therefore, if you have found yourself in this situation, you must act fast to seek the advice and guidance of a superior Orlando Defense Lawyer. Musca Law has been serving Florida residents for decades, providing them with outstanding legal representation for all criminal matters as well as civil injunction matters. Our lawyers serve not only the Orlando area but all other portions of the state. We also represent clients from outside of Florida who may be facing criminal charges or an injunction within this state. To find out how the Orlando Repeat Violence Defense Lawyers of Musca Law can help you, contact our office today by calling (888) 484-5057.