Repeat Violence Injunction Defense Lawyers in Sarasota, Florida
Assaults, batteries, attempted assaults, attempted batteries, aggravated assaults, aggravated batteries, and episodes of domestic violence are already outlawed by statute in Florida. In passing laws that criminalize assaultive or violent behavior, the Florida legislature declared that these crimes should be prosecuted because of the injury or harm that these acts cause. The idea that an order of the court prohibiting a person from perpetrating these crimes against another is misguided at best.
However, an injunction against repeat violence does more than remind the person subject to the injunction that he or she cannot commit another crime. Orders for repeat injunction invade the personal life of the individual bound to live by the terms of the injunction and limits the person’s ability to move freely by limiting the places where a person may go, with whom the individual can interact, force the individual to attend counseling, and surrender his or her constitutional rights to self-defense by possessing a firearm and ammunition. Therefore, a person who receives notice here she might be subject to a repeat violence injunction in Sarasota, Florida, must contact experienced Sarasota injunction and criminal defense lawyers to mount a successful defense.
Taking the initiative and contacting a skilled Sarasota repeat violence injunction and criminal defense attorney from Musca Law will help protect your rights. Unfortunately, many people abuse the system and apply for injunctions as a way to seek retribution against another. Judges who must decide whether the request for relief is credible often take the cautious approach by issuing an order for injunctive relief. However, you have an unwavering right to defend yourself against allegations claiming that you committed a violent act against another. Call Musca Law today at 888-484-5057 to obtain the advice of seasoned Sarasota criminal defense and repeat violence injunction attorneys who will fight to protect your rights.
Categories of Injunctions for Protection in Sarasota, Florida
Florida law established a system of protective injunctions, also known as restraining orders, or protective orders, so that people who suffered abuse from another or people who live under the threat of imminent abuse by another, can ask the court for additional protections. Many of those additional protections include stay-away orders, no contact orders, no abuse orders, and require the individual subject to the order to surrender his or her firearms and ammunition to a local law enforcement agency.
The courts of Florida compel obedience with orders for protection by imposing strict sanctions on a person who violates the terms of the order. Violating an injunction for protective relief is a crime in Florida. The individual who violates the restraining order could face jail time, probationary periods, and pay hefty fines. Additionally, the court could order the offender to attend counseling and mental health treatment as a condition of the sentence imposed by the court after a conviction for violating an injunction for protection.
Judges sitting in Sarasota, Florida, courts can order five categories of injunctions. Those categories are:
- repeat violence injunctions;
- domestic violence injunctions;
- dating violence injunctions;
- injunctions to prohibit stalking; and
- sexual violence injunctions.
The legal procedure a person who wishes to obtain an injunction for protection must follow begins with filing a petition with the local Circuit Court. The person who files the petition for an injunction for protection is identified as the petitioner. The person who must defend the allegations contained in the petition is identified as the respondent. The petitioner files the petition swearing under the pains and penalties of perjury that the information provided by the petitioner in the petition is true and accurate to the best of that person’s knowledge and ability.
A judge will examine the petition immediately after the petitioner completes the necessary documentation. The judge who reviews the petition must determine whether the petitioner requires the protection of a temporary order, also known as temporary restraining orders or temporary protective orders, between the time the petitioner filed the case until the court can conduct a final hearing on the merits of the petition.
The longest a temporary restraining order may be in place before the final hearing is held is fifteen days. During that interval, the court can create a temporary order that prohibits the respondent from perpetrating another act violence against the petitioner, stay away from the petitioner, have no contact with the petitioner, and surrender all firearms and ammunition. Most temporary orders are not as extensive as a final order. At a final hearing, the judge has the option of adding additional requirements that the respondent must satisfy if the judge issues a final order.
The Sheriff’s Office or Police Department in the locale in which the respondent resides must serve notice of the temporary order and the final hearing date upon the respondent. Without formal notice to the respondent, the respondent cannot be bound by the terms of the temporary order. Notwithstanding, the respondent must not thwart the law enforcement agencies’ attempts to serve notice on him or her; otherwise, the judge will determine that service was properly made, and at that point, the respondent will be bound to live by the terms of the order.
Sarasota judges typically find granting temporary orders expedient and consistent with the principles of justice because the order cannot be in place for longer than fifteen days. Although being subject to a court order for just over two weeks is potentially damaging to the respondent, the interval allows the respondent to align himself or herself with the lawyer he or she chooses and prepare a defense. To that extent, the fifteen-day waiting period helps the respondent prepare a successful defense.
Judges have the authority to dismiss a petition after reviewing the allegations set forth initially. These occasions are unfortunately rare. Judges often prefer to hear both sides of the story before determining whether an injunction becomes a permanent order of the court. Judges also prefer to preserve the status quo by issuing a temporary injunction until a final hearing could be held.
This procedure is followed no matter which category injunction for which the petitioner applied.
Consequences of a Final Hearing on the Merits of a Petition for an Injunction to Prevent Repeat Violence
Consulting and retaining an experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable injunction against repeat violence and criminal defense attorney from Musca Law will protect your rights by devising a successful strategy to defend against the allegations contained in the petition. A thorough and frank discussion with experienced counsel will facilitate devising a defense strategy that protects your rights.
A person served with a temporary restraining order should understand Florida law regarding repeat violence injunctions in Sarasota, Florida. Even a rudimentary understanding of the relevant law will help you engage in a meaningful discussion with your attorney. Therefore, understanding the significance of the term violence under Florida law its critical to establishing a winning defense. Florida Statutes §784.046(1)(a) indicates that “violence” is any act that involves assaultive behavior, aggravated assaults, battery, sexual assault, aggravated battery, sexual battery, false imprisonment, stalking, kidnapping, aggravated stalking, or other criminal offense that might result in a physical injury or cause the death of another.
Florida law also defines the phrase “repeat violence,” specifically. Repeat violence is defined by Florida statutes §784.056(b) as two or more incidence violent act or stalking perpetrated by another, and one of those incidents happened during the preceding six months. Additionally, §784.056(b) mandates the petitioner to allege the acts of violence were directed toward the petitioner or an immediate family member of the petitioner.
Florida law restricts who can file a petition for an injunction against repeat violence. The individual who is an alleged victim of repeat violence has “standing” to file a petition. Also, a parent or guardian has the standing to file a petition for an injunction against repeat violence on behalf of the petitioner’s minor child. The petitioner, whether filing individually or on behalf of the child, must allege that the person is in fear of suffering an act of violence at the hands of the respondent. Failing that, the judge must deny the petition.
Unlike other categories of injunctions for protection against violence, there is no requirement under Florida law that the petitioner or respondent maintains a specific relationship to qualify for an injunction against repeat violence in Sarasota. Petitioners asking the court for protection against repeat violence could seek the protection from other family members who did not reside with the petitioner, roommates who are not family members, neighbors, co-workers, employer or employee, or people who are merely acquainted.
The body of law that a judge in Sarasota, Florida, applies to petitions for relief against repeated violence is civil rather than criminal. Even though a violation of a restraining order carries with it the threat of criminal sanctions, the lower standard, or burden, of proof used in civil law applies when a court rules on a petition for protection against repeat violence.
Interestingly, the petitioner has no obligation to ask a Police Department to investigate the respondent for a crime when applying for an injunction for protection against repeat violence even though the allegations outlined in the petition, if believed, make out probable cause to arrest the respondent for a crime. The judge must deny the petition if the petitioner fails to set forth facts sufficient to warrant the judge to believe a crime of violence occurred.
At a final hearing, the judge must determine the credibility of the parties and weigh all of the evidence presented. Evidence will take the form of testimony, photographs, text messages, emails, medical records, or any other physical or documentary evidence the parties wish to present to the judge. You will have the right to testify on your behalf if you wish, keeping in mind that everything you say could be used against you at a later date. Moreover, your attorney will have the right to cross-examine the petitioner and point out any inconsistencies in his or her testimony, any biases the petitioner harbors against the respondent, or highlight unlawful or untruthful motives for pursuing an injunction to prevent repeat violence. Critically, the judge cannot rely on the respondent’s reputation for violence. Instead, the petitioner has an obligation to allege facts rather than summarizing or relying on reputation evidence to prove that the respondent is it repeat violent offender.
Representing Yourself is Dangerous when Defending Against a Petition for an Injunction Against Repeat Violence in Sarasota, Florida
Retaining aggressive injunction defense and criminal defense counsel from Musca Law will ensure that your rights are protected. Because the allegations contained in the petition must set out enough factual detail for the judge to believe a crime was committed, the respondent has a right against self-incrimination. Arguing on behalf of yourself could lead you down a path you never envisioned. Lots of people think that they can handle the situation in court because they understand what transpired between the two parties, and that depth of knowledge helps them convey the truth to the judge directly.
Speaking personally without allowing a skilled attorney to speak for you might cause you to wave your rights against self-incrimination. Anything you say in court can be used by the state’s attorney to prosecute you for any crimes alleged in the petition. An experienced criminal defense and injunction defense attorney will argue persuasively for you while simultaneously insulating you from the potential that the state’s attorney might use your words against you in a criminal trial.
Moreover, all parties who appear in court and act as their own advocate must adhere to the rules of court procedure in Sarasota. Additionally, the judge will expect that you conduct yourself professionally and respectfully in court despite the level of emotion you experience during the hearing. A judge may tolerate some inexperience initially; however, judges in Sarasota must maintain appropriate courtroom decorum and will not tolerate outbursts, cursing, or any behavior which leads the judge to conclude that the litigant disrespects the judge and his or her authority.
Not every attorney admitted to practice in Florida as the requisite skill level to defend you against an injunction for repeat violence successfully. Theoretically, any individual who passed the Florida bar can appear on your behalf. However, lawyers with a history and reputation of vigorous defense in both criminal and civil court arguing against injunctions for protection against violence will give you accurate advice and provide you the level of skill you deserve. Moreover, injunctions against repeat violence often accompany underlying criminal charges. A lawyer with extensive experience defending criminal cases and injunctions to prevent repeat violence will understand how the two legal matters intersect and devise a winning defense strategy in civil and criminal court.
Living Subject to an Injunction to Prevent Repeat Violence is Difficult
Significant consequences flow from living subject to a repeat violence injunction in Sarasota, Florida. The court can order you to refrain from doing certain things and uses authority to compel you to do others. Unless you are able to defend against the allegations, you could be subject to:
- adhering to strict rules ordered by the judge including, staying away from certain people, not contacting the petitioner, and refraining from abusing the petitioner;
- face criminal prosecution for even the slightest violation of the terms of the repeat violence injunctive order;
- damage to reputation in the community, including loss of employment, and ability to find employment, find adequate or suitable housing, attend school, or even apply for loans. All of these collateral consequences may follow you for the remainder of your life if you are subject to an order for protection against repeat violence because the order is a public record;
- You must surrender all firearms, including rifles and shotguns, even if they are used for hunting, and ammunition to the local law enforcement authority in your town or County; and
- attend mental health counseling and treatment at your expense as ordered by the judge.
Modifying or Terminating an Injunction Against Repeat Violence in Sarasota, Florida
Injunctions to prevent repeat violence in Sarasota, Florida, are typically permanent. The judge could rule that the order has an expiration date. The order will expire on the termination date set by the court unless the judge orders a permanent injunction. It is, therefore, vitally important to comprehend how a permanent order could be terminated or any order could be modified so that you cannot continue to live your life without violating the repeat violence injunction.
Either party may move, or ask the court to modify the injunction by filing a motion, which is a written document specifying what relief the moving party seeks and setting out the justification for the request. Terminating the order will also work similarly. When a party moves to terminate a permanent order or an order before the expiration date, the moving party must argue why the order should no longer be in effect.
Extending an Order for to Protect Against Repeat Violence in Sarasota, Florida
The petitioner has the responsibility to ask the court to extend the order if the judge sets out an expiration date. Failure to do so will result in the court dismissing or dissolving the injunction to prevent repeat violence. The petitioner must file a written motion within 30 days of the expiration date to preserve his or her rights to extend the restraining order. The judge could order another hearing on the merits of the petition. Therefore, the respondent retains every right to argue against the extension of the order and can seek assistance from the lawyer he or she chooses.
Skillful and Aggressive Defense Against Injunctions to Prevent Repeat Violence in Sarasota, Florida
A skilled, highly-experienced, and knowledgeable repeat violence injunction defense angry criminal defense attorney with the resources to investigate the claims made by the petitioner thoroughly will provide you with the best opportunity to defend your rights. Because each case is different from the next, there is no one size fits all approach to defending these cases. A solid defense strategy will analyze all of the claims made by the petitioner in light of the relationship between the parties, the criminal background of the parties, the presence of witnesses, the potential for an alibi defense, and whether the petitioner has a reputation for telling the truth or lying. Only then will the respondent have the opportunity to defend against the petition aggressively.
You are in Jeopardy of Losing Your Rights if You Were Served with an Injunction to Prevent Repeat Violence in Sarasota, Florida
Musca Law’s Sarasota criminal defense attorneys have the skill, knowledge, and reputation you need to defend allegations of repeat abuse and violence. Call 888-484-5057 now to speak with one of our experienced injunction and criminal defense attorneys. You have the unimpinged right to live your life as you see fit and not how a judge orders you to live.