Sexual Violence Injunction Defense Lawyers in Orlando, Florida
Violent acts can undoubtedly result in criminal charges in Orlando, Florida. However, they can also be accompanied by a protective injunction, which carries with it serious legal repercussions. In Florida, those who are the victims of violent acts or have a reasonable belief that they are in danger of immediate harm by another individual can seek relief by filing a petition for a protective injunction in an Orlando, Florida court. Protective injunctions are also known in Florida as restraining orders, protective orders, or generally as injunctions.
Florida law dictates that there are five types of injunctions that a person can pursue, one of which is known as a sexual violence injunction. Claims of sexual violence are extremely serious, and if a person is accused of sexual violence, he or she should contact a skilled Orlando Criminal Defense and Sexual Violence Injunction Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Charges for sexual violence can result in substantial monetary fines, jail time, probation, and more. The repercussions of a sexual violence injunction in Orlando do not involve a criminal conviction, but they do present as criminal penalties. In addition, violating a sexual violence injunction can result in criminal charges and severe legal consequences.
The Orlando Criminal Defense and Sexual Violence Injunction Defense Attorneys at Musca Law are experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled at handling sexual violence allegations and sexual violence injunctions. Our lawyers have over 150 years of combined experience representing clients accused of crimes throughout the state of Florida. With numerous offices throughout Florida, our nationally-recognized lawyers are available 24/7 to speak with clients about their legal matters. To find out how Musca Law can help you fight a sexual violence injunction, contact our St. Petersburg Sexual Violence Injunction Defense Lawyers today by calling (888) 484-5057.
Injunctions in Orlando – Orders Issued by Civil Courts that Have Criminal-Type Repercussions
The issuance of injunctions in Orlando can abridge one’s constitutional rights. Injunctions carry with it serious consequences, including social stigma and more, as well as expose a person to criminal liability if the injunction is violated. Give the severe nature of injunctions in Orlando, any person who faces and injunction must contact a skilled Orlando Criminal Defense and Injunction Defense Attorney. Pursuant to Florida law, there are five types of injunctions, which are:
- Domestic Violence Injunctions;
- Dating Violence Injunctions;
- Repeat Violence Injunctions;
- Stalking Injunctions; and
- Sexual Violence Injunctions.
Notwithstanding the type of injunction that an individual seeks to pursue in court, the consequences of an order for an injunction can dramatically affect the life of the person subject to same. However, a person cannot seek an injunction without satisfying the legal requirements under Florida law. In Orlando, the person who is pursuing the injunction is identified as the “petitioner,” while the person subject to the injunction is referred to as the “respondent.”
The Legal Requirements That Must be Satisfied in Order to Obtain an Orlando Sexual Violence Injunction
The process for obtaining an injunction is the same for all of the injunctions listed above. However, the requirements for each vary under Florida law. Pursuant to Per Florida Statute Section 784.06, “sexual violence” includes various criminal acts, including (1) one incident of sexual battery, (2) one instance of a lewd or lascivious act “committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 years of age,” (3) one instance of luring or enticing a child, (4) one instance of sexual performance by a child, or (5) one instance of any “forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted, regardless of whether any criminal charges based on the incident were filed, reduced, or dismissed by the state attorney.”
A few examples of sexual violence are further defined, as they involve certain legal requirements. First, “sexual battery” under Florida law, Statute Section 794.011(1)(h), is defined as “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object.” Moreover, “lewd or lascivious” conduct comprises a substantial variety of conduct, which is identified under Florida Statute Section 800.04. In addition, per Florida Statute Section 827.071, the “sexual performance of a child” is defined into sub-parts. In light of the aforementioned, there are several requirements per the above statutes that a petitioner must satisfy in order to obtain a sexual violence injunction in Orlando. As such, a respondent must immediately hire a skilled lawyer who can develop the strongest defense on his or her behalf.
Sexual Violence that Involves Children – A Special Note to Respondents
A petitioner who pursues a sexual violence injunction in Orlando often claims that they were subject to violence of a sexual nature (such as rape, etc.). Otherwise stated, the victims of sexual violence may be minors (children under the age of 18). In this view, the petitioner is the parent or legal guardian of the minor child. If the petition for a sexual violence injunction involves a minor child, the petitioner must report claims of sexual violence to law enforcement. The petitioner must also be cooperative with police regarding claims of sexual violence.
The Process for Obtaining a Sexual Violence Injunction in Orange County
It is a rather short process for a petitioner to obtain a sexual violence injunction. All injunctions involve the same procedures, which are as follows:
Step One – The Petitioner Files a Petition in Court
A person who pursues a sexual violence injunction in Orlando needs to file a court-approved form known as a petition. The petitioner, when filling out the form, must provide, in detail, the facts supporting the need for a sexual violence injunction and if possible, any evidence of sexual violence.
Step Two – The Presiding Judge Reviews the Petition
The judges presiding over the matter reviews the petition, once it is filed, and decides whether it satisfies the requirements pursuant to Florida law, and whether the allegations are plausible. If evidence is submitted along with the petition, the judge will also review it Keep in mind that the petitioner does not have to provide evidence with the petition at the time it is filed.
Step Three – The Court Determines Whether to Issue a Permanent Injunction
A judge will deny the issuance of a sexual violence temporary injunction if the facts of the petition are not credible. However, if the presiding judge determines that the facts of the petition appear to be true, a temporary injunction will be issued. The temporary injunction typically lasts for fifteen days before the final hearing on the matter is held (as discussed below, if the defense attorney requests more time through a motion for continuance, the temporary injunction will be in effect for that period of time, which will last more than fifteen days). Many judges issue temporary injunctions to protect the alleged victim from further acts of violence.
Step Four – The Final Hearing
If a judge issues a temporary sexual violence injunction, the court will schedule a hearing to occur approximately 15 days after the injunction is issued.
Step Five – Service of the Sexual Violence Injunction
A respondent is served with a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and the order for a temporary injunction once the hearing on the matter has been scheduled. The local sheriff’s office typically serves the respondent.
Step Six – A Continuance of the Hearing Date
Given the fact that injunction cases occur in a quick manner, attorneys for respondents often request a continuance of the matter to give them more time, through a motion for continuance, to prepare for the sexual violence injunction hearing. This has the effect of postponing the final hearing to a later date. Those who represent themselves often do not realize that they have the right to continue the case, which is why having a skilled Orlando Criminal Defense and Sexual Violence Injunction Defense Attorney is essential.
Step Seven – The Final Hearing Date
Once the hearing is held, the parties make their appearance before the presiding judge who issued the temporary injunction. During this time, the parties argue their respective positions as well as present evidence to the court to support their case. Evidence may include witness testimony and documentation, such as letters and electronic correspondence (i.e., text messages, emails, social media postings, etc.). Both parties can also take the stand however, it is important for a respondent to discuss with their attorney whether this is a beneficial step to take.
Step Eight – The Final Ruling
After hearing the parties’ arguments, reviewing the evidence, and hearing testimony from witnesses, the presiding judge will render a final decision. Such decision may involve a denial or approval of the sexual violence injunction. If a sexual violence injunction is issued, the respondent must fully adhere to its terms, or else he or she could face criminal penalties.
How Hiring an Attorney to Defend Against an Orlando Sexual Violence Injunction is Critical
The defense against the issuance of a sexual violence injunction in Orlando is similar to the process of defending against criminal charges. In many instances, an individual who faces a sexual violence injunction may also be subject to criminal charges for sexual violence. When a respondent faces a sexual violence injunction in Orlando, a lawyer will pursue a number of steps which may include, without limitation, the following:
- Examine the claims raised by the petitioner in the petition;
- Examine all of the evidence submitted by the petitioner;
- Obtain statements made by witnesses;
- Ascertain whether a current criminal case exists pertaining to the sexual violence claims raised by the petitioner;
- Identify who the presiding judge is in the matter and review his or her prior decisions;
- Determine whether the respondent has been convicted of other crimes in the past; and
- Determine whether the petitioner has made prior misleading or false claims.
If a petition does not satisfy the requirements of a sexual violence injunction in Florida, the attorney for the respondent can present such an argument during the final hearing. In addition, if the petitioner’s statements are untrue or misleading, the attorney for the respondent can present evidence to the court evidencing same. While an attorney cannot always obtain a favorable result, having a skilled attorney can dramatically increase the chances that a respondent will achieve a denial of the injunction.
Sexual Violence Injunction and the Resulting Ramifications in Orlando
The repercussions of a sexual violence injunction in Orlando can affect a respondent for many years to come, if not permanently. If a respondent is the subject of a potential sexual violence injunction, he or she is likely facing criminal charges. If so, he or she will face serious challenges against the prosecution, and also against a civil court judge. Whether or not a criminal proceeding exists at the same time as an injunction matter, a sexual violence injunction carries with it serious consequences, which include, without limitation, the following:
- Social stigma (as well as stigma from friends, relatives, and coworkers);
- A reputation for being a sex offender, even if a jury does not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the respondent is guilty of a sex crime;
- The prohibition of the respondent from being within a certain area (meaning, he or she cannot be within a certain number of feet from the petitioner);
- The inability for the respondent to own ammunition and firearms for the period of time that the sexual violence injunction is in place;
- The requirement for the respondent to seek a mental health evaluation;
- The requirement for the respondent to obtain counseling at his or her own expense; and
- Potential criminal liability if the judge determines that a sexual violence injunction is warranted.
The violation of a sexual violence injunction is Orlando can result in the respondent being charged with a misdemeanor of felony, depending upon the specific set of circumstances. A first and second violation of an Orlando sexual violence injunction can result in a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries with it a period of one year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine for each offense. Subsequent violations constitute third degree felonies in Florida, which is associated with up to five years in prison and a monetary fine of up to $5,000 for each offense.
Terminating or Modifying an Orlando Sexual Violence Injunction
Terminating or modifying a sexual violence injunction in Orlando is possible however, to do so, a motion must be submitted to the court. The presiding judge may terminate or modify the injunction once he or she reviews the evidence submitted with the motion. There are several reasons why a sexual violence injunction may be terminated or modified. They include, without limitation, the following:
- The petitioner seeks to terminate the injunction, for any reason;
- The petitioner seeks to increase the respondent’s restrictions based upon alleged acts of repeat violence;
- The respondent moves out of state and seeks to terminate the sexual violence injunction due to it being no longer needed or relevant;
- The respondent seeks to terminate the sexual violence injunction after receiving evidence that the petitioner’s allegations are completely false or misleading; and
- The parties jointly wish to terminate the sexual violence injunction due to having made amends.
How Long a Sexual Violence Injunction Lasts in Orlando
Judges in Orlando have the discretion to issue sexual violence injunction orders given the facts and circumstances of each case, as well as to determine how long they should last. Accordingly, a judge may order the injunction to last one or two months, or, he or she may feel that one year or more is necessary to protect the victim of sexual violence. A judge may even decide to issue a permanent sexual violence injunction in Orlando.
Should the sexual violence injunction have an expiration date, the petitioner has the right to seek to extend it through filing a motion with the court at least 30 days prior to when the injunction expires. If he or she does not do so, the sexual violence injunction will expire and the respondent no longer is subject to its terms.
Contact the Orlando Criminal Defense and Sexual Violence Injunction Defense Attorneys at Musca Law Today!
Being accused of sexual violence is a serious matter in Orlando. Accordingly, you should challenge the injunction with a skilled Orlando Criminal Attorney as soon you can. While there are no guarantees about a certain result, having an experienced attorney increases the odds of having a favorable outcome in your case. To schedule a consultation with one of the attorneys at Musca Law, you can contact our office 24/7 at (888) 484-5057. Our attorneys will discuss with your legal rights and interests, as well as the defenses that may be available in your case. Don’t wait – contact us now to learn more about your legal options.