Protective Injunction Defense Lawyers in Stuart, Florida
Facing an injunction case often feels like being subject to criminal charges. A protective injunction, also known under Florida law as a restraining order or order of protection, requires a person to comply with certain requirements as well as forgo certain legal rights. If you have been served with an injunction in Stuart, Florida, it is critical that you contact a skilled Stuart Criminal and Protective Injunction Defense Lawyer as soon as possible.
Musca Law is a highly reputable law firm in Florida that focuses its practice exclusively on civil injunction and criminal law cases. We have over 150 collective years of experience representing clients located throughout the state of Florida. We fight tenaciously on behalf of our clients and strive to develop the strongest defense strategy possible. To discuss your case with a member of our legal team, call Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057. We look forward to making a difference for you!
Stuart Protective Injunctions
A protective injunction is an order issued by a civil court that is meant to protect an alleged victim from being subject to violence. While individuals who have been victims of violence deserve to be protected, those who are accused of committing violent acts are not afforded the same level of due process as they are in a criminal proceeding. As such, although protective injunctions, when issued, do not result in jail time, the remedy itself can be followed by a criminal investigation and corresponding criminal charges if they are violated. Under Florida law, a person who seeks a protective injunction is known as the “petitioner.” The individual who is the alleged offender is known as the “respondent.”
The Five Types of Protective Injunctions in Stuart, Florida
In Florida, there are five types of protective injunctions that an alleged victim can seek, which are as follows:
- Dating violence injunctions
- Repeat violence injunctions
- Domestic violence injunctions
- Sexual violence injunctions
- Stalking injunctions
While each type of injunction involves different relationships and/or violent acts, the process to obtain a protective order is the same, which is discussed more fully below.\
How are the five types of Injunctions in Florida Similar?
- The alleged victim is known as the petitioner, and the party subject to the injunction is referred to as the respondent.
- The presiding judge has the discretion to issue a temporary injunction before a final hearing is held in the matter.
- The petition is sworn, which means that it is signed in front of a notary or court clerk.
- The temporary injunction remains in place until the final hearing is held in the matter.
- The county sheriff typically serves the respondent with the notice of the injunction.
- A hearing may be held, even if a temporary injunction has not been issued,
- The respondent is entitled to notice of the hearing.
- The parties may have witnesses testify on their behalves at the hearing.
- The injunction may last permanently unless it is set to expire.
- There are serious consequences associated with a permanent injunction.
Stuart Dating Violence Injunctions
Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 784.046(d), “dating violence” is defined as “violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.” Before having to prove that a dating relationship exists or existed, the petitioner must establish the following:
- The type of relationship was one where there was the expectation of sexual involvement and affection;
- The relationship between the petitioner and the respondent existed within the past six months before the petition for the dating violence injunction was filed; and
- The petitioner and the respondent “have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship.
A petitioner who does not establish that a dating relationship exists will not be able to obtain a dating violence injunction in Stuart. Notwithstanding, a respondent who fails to challenge a dating violence injunction will not be afforded the opportunity to raise legal defenses that could get the case dismissed. As such, it is vital to hire a skilled Stuart Criminal and Protective Injunction Defense Lawyer as soon as possible.
Stuart Domestic Violence Injunctions
Domestic violence injunctions are very common in Stuart. Like a dating violence injunction, a petitioner who seeks a domestic violence injunction must first establish that there is a domestic relationship that exists between the parties. Under Florida Statute Section 741.30(1), a petitioner can seek a domestic violence injunction on his or her own behalf or on behalf of a child under the age of eighteen. A domestic violence injunction requires the parties to establish that they live together, share a child in common, or used to live together. Keep in mind that if the parties share a child in common, they do not need to live together for the court to issue a domestic violence injunction.
Domestic violence injunction matters often have a corresponding criminal case involved. Accordingly, it is critical to hire an attorney who has experience in both civil protective injunction and criminal law matters.
Stuart Repeat Violence Injunctions
Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 784.46(b), an individual can file for a repeat violence injunction if he or she has been subject to two or more violent acts. In order to obtain a repeat violence injunction, the law requires that one of the acts of violence must have happened within six months from the time when the petition for repeat violence injunction had been filed.
Stuart Sexual Violence Injunctions
Under Florida Statute Section 784.046(c), “sexual violence” is defined as one incident of sexual battery, a lewd or lascivious act “committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 years of age,” luring or enticing a child, sexual performance by a child, or “any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted, regardless of whether criminal charges based on the incident were filed, reduced, or dismissed by the state attorney.” The individuals do not need to be involved in a relationship for a sexual violence injunction to be issued.
Stuart Stalking Injunctions
Under Florida Statute Section 784.048(2), stalking is defined as “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly following, harassing, or cyberstalking another person.” As with a sexual violence injunction, the parties do not have to be involved in a relationship for the injunction to be issued.
The Process for Obtaining an Injunction in Stuart
Step One – The Filing of the Petition
The first step to obtain an injunction is to file a court-approved form known as the petition. Each type of injunction has its own form. The petition is submitted under oath, which means that the petitioner is subject to penalty of perjury if he or she provides false information on the form. Evidence is not required to be submitted with the form, although it can be helpful.
Step Two – The Court’s Examination of the Petition
The presiding judge, after receiving the petition, will review it and determine whether a temporary injunction is necessary. Judges often approve temporary injunctions if the petition provides sufficient information to establish that one is needed. If a temporary injunction is issued, it will last for fifteen days. On the fifteenth day, a final hearing will be held where the judge will decide whether or not to issue a permanent injunction.
Step Three – Service of Process on the Respondent
Once the judge issues a protective injunction, the Martin County Sheriff’s Department will serve the respondent with a copy of the petition, the time and date of the final haring, and the copy of the temporary injunction.
Step Four – Hiring a Skilled Stuart Criminal and Protective Injunction Defense Attorney
Preparing for a final hearing is both challenging and involved. This is why it is important for you to hire a skilled Stuart Criminal and Protective Injunction Defense Lawyer who will safeguard your legal rights and prepare the strongest defense case possible. Once a competent lawyer is retained, he or she will likely seek to postpone the hearing date in order to fully prepare for the case.
Step Five – The Final Hearing
Both parties are required to appear at the final hearing. The final hearing affords both parties to present their case and have witnesses to testify on their behalves, Evidence that is typically submitted is usually documentation such as text messages, emails, notes, phone logs, and photos. A jury does not preside over the case, as only a judge hears and decides the matter.
Step Six – The Court’s Final Order
Once the final hearing has been held, the presiding judge will consider the evidence in rendering his or her decision. If a permanent injunction is issued, the respondent must adhere to all of its terms, or else he or she will face serious legal repercussions.
The Repercussions Associated with a Stuart Protective Injunction
As noted previously, a permanent injunction will seriously limit the rights of a respondent. It is important to note that each injunction depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case. However, a protective injunction is associated with several consequences, and can cause a person subject to the terms of the injunction to feel like he or she has committed a crime. The consequences associated with a permanent injunction are as follows:
- The requirement to stay away from the petitioner and his or her minor child;
- The need to submit to mental health counseling, such as substance abuse treatment, at the respondent’s own expense;
- The need to surrender ammunition and firearms into law enforcement;
- The need to submit to random drug/alcohol testing; and
- Harm to one’s reputation given the fact that protective injunctions are part of the public record.
Given the severity of the repercussions associated with a Stuart protective injunction, it is vital that you contact an experienced Stuart Criminal and Protective Injunction Defense Attorney as soon as possible to safeguard your legal rights and develop the strongest defense strategy possible.
Respondents are Often Wrongfully Subject to an Injunction Case
At Musca Law, we have represented clients in all types of injunction cases. Many are wrongfully accused, where there is a vengeful petitioner seeking to obtain an advantage in a case such as a custody battle. Contact Musca Law today at (888) 840-5057 to learn more about your legal options. We look forward to making a difference for you!
The Criminal Consequences of Violating a Protective Injunction in Martin County
It is a crime in Florida to violate the terms of a protective in junction. Pursuant to Florida law, the following penalties are associated with a violation of a permanent injunction:
- First offense –this constitutes a misdemeanor in the first degree, which is associated with a one-year jail term and a monetary fine of up to $1,000.
- Second offense – this is also a misdemeanor in the first degree, which is punishable as provided above.
- Third offense – this qualifies as a third-degree felony, which is associated with a five-year jail term and a monetary fine of up to $5,000.
- Subsequent violations each constitute third-degree felonies, punishable as provided above.
The punishment associated with a conviction for violating a permanent injunction can add up if the respondent is convicted of more than one crime. As such, an individual can be faced with a $7,000 fine and be placed in jail for up to seven years for three violations of a protective injunction.
The Modification or Termination of a Stuart Protective Injunction
A protective injunction can be modified or terminated by a Florida court. To terminate or modify a protective injunction, the moving party must submit a motion to the court that establishes why it should be terminated or modified. If you are seeking to modify or terminate an injunction, it is critical to contact an experienced Stuart Criminal and Protective Injunction Attorney as soon as possible.
Such a process is difficult to establish, as the presiding judge will need to be sufficiently convinced that a modification or termination is necessary. Otherwise stated, the judge must be convinced that the petitioner, or his or her child, is susceptible to harm.
The Extension of the Term of a Stuart Protective Injunction
Some injunctions are set to never expire, while others are set to last permanently. If a protective injunction has an expiration date, the petitioner can go back to the curt to request an extension of its term. In such a case the petitioner must return to the court at least thirty days before the injunction is set to expire.
Contact the Stuart Criminal and Protective Injunction Defense Lawyers at Musca Law Now!
If you have been served with an injunction, it is critical that you contact a skilled Stuart Criminal Defense Attorney. At Musca Law, we have over 150 collective years of experience representing clients in all types of criminal and civil injunction cases. Musca Law has a stellar reputation for successfully representing clients located in Stuart and throughout the state of Florida. If you would like to speak with one of our Stuart Criminal and Protective Injunction Defense Lawyers, contact us now by calling (888) 484-5057. We look forward to making a difference for you.