If you have been issued a domestic violence injunction, you may feel like you are walking on eggshells; you fear that you are going to be arrested just for going about your daily routine or visiting your favorite coffee shop. You may be confused as to how you were put in this position in the first place, or what a domestic violence injunction even does.
By understanding the power and penalties around domestic violence injunctions, you will be able to move forward, stay out of trouble, and even reverse the order in the future.
What Is a Domestic Violence Injunction?
A domestic violence injunction is a court document that makes it against the law for an alleged abuser to contact or visit the person who filed the injunction. Injunctions are better known as “restraining orders,” and each individual order will be different depending on the case. For example, some injunctions will order another person to pay a certain amount of money in child support payments. Others will order you to refrain from any kind of contact with the person who filed the injunction.
Domestic violence injunctions specifically ask the court for protection from an alleged abuser, stating that they are in immediate danger of becoming a domestic violence victim.
How Long Does an Injunction Last?
Depending on the type of injunction that has been filed, it may be in effect for a few weeks to a few years. Certain injunctions do not have an expiration date; we will talk about that below as we define the different types of injunctions.
Temporary (ex parte) Injunction – To start the process of serving an injunction, an alleged victim will file a petition asking for a temporary injunction as protection from a certain individual. To grant the injunction, a judge will use the information only given to him on the petition; the alleged abuser does not have to be present and the person filing the petition does not have to testify.
If a judge grants the injunction, the alleged abuser will be given a notice, and the injunction will go into affect. A court date hearing will be scheduled as well. Temporary injunctions do not last more than 15 days, but allow the terms of the injunction to go into affect before the injunction is made final.
Final Injunction – At the scheduled court date, a final injunction may be put in place. This is the opportunity for the alleged abuser to make a case for themselves and possibly have the injunction removed. Final injunctions offer even more protections (meaning more restrictions on the person being issued the injunction) and last longer than 15 days. In some cases, a judge may not give the final injunction a set end date, making the order permanent.
What Happens If an Injunction Order is Violated?
If someone is issued an injunction order but still attempts to contact or visit the victim, or violates any other part of the protection order, the person may be arrested and charged. Violating a protection order is charged as a misdemeanor in the first degree in Florida, punishable by up to one year in jail or probation and fines up to $1,000. Multiple violations, or crimes committed while under a protection order, can result in more serious charges.
Luckily, these injunctions can be reversed or modified, but you will have to file your own petitions and show up in court. A domestic violence injunction can have a serious impact on your future. If you have been given a domestic violence injunction, or are afraid you may be receiving one, contact a Florida defense lawyer and begin fighting for your freedoms today.
About the Author:
Attorney David W. Olson is the founder of the Law Offices of David W. Olson in West Palm Beach. He has been practicing criminal law and successfully representing clients throughout the State of Florida for over 30 years. Throughout his legal career, Mr. Olson has been honored numerous times for both his dedication and excellence in criminal law. He proudly holds the Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating, as well as being recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013), in the Nation’s Top One Percent of attorneys (2015), and as a 10 Best Member of the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys (2015). He has even received commendations from members of congress and other public officials for the fantastic work that he’s done. Mr. Olson graduated from the University of Florida’s Fredric G. Levin College of Law in 1981 and has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1983.