Restraining Orders

A restraining order is a type of injunction of which the primary goal is to protect people from violence or stalking. An injunction is a court order to continue or cease actions between multiple parties. Injunctions are often referred to as restraining orders but they are a bit different. For example, a temporary restraining order (TRO) is usually issued while a permanent injunction is being worked out in court. These hearings can have serious long term effects on your life and can bring serious charges if you violate the court order.

There are five types of restraining orders/injunctions:

  • Dating Violence
  • Sexual Violence
  • Domestic Violence
  • Stalking
  • Repeat Violence

If you violate any of the above injunctions you may be held in contempt of court. You may also face a first-degree misdemeanor charge which can bring up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Repeat violations can bring heavier charges such as a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. That is why it is imperative to have an attorney with you during these hearings.

Process for Filing a Restraining Order

The first step in filing a restraining order is filing the Petition. A judge will consider whether to issue a temporary injunction pending a final hearing. The judge will consider whether there is immediate or imminent violence or serious bodily injury, or threats of violence or serious bodily injury in making the determination to issue a temporary injunction. 

If the judge issues a temporary injunction, a final hearing for the injunction will be scheduled within 15 days of the temporary injunction. At the final hearing, all evidence supporting the claim for the injunction will be presented, including witnesses, photographs, videos, etc. 

If the judge issues a permanent injunction, it will remain in place until modified or dissolved by the court. 

The injunction may expire on a specific date, or may be extended beyond their expiration date, as long as a request is made to extend the injunction before the expiration date.

For an injunction to be extended, the court will consider the circumstances leading to the first injunction, as well as any events the petitioner believes will lead to violence in the future. 

Injunctions filed in Florida are enforceable nationwide. Injunctions or orders of protection against domestic violence issued by a court out of state are fully enforceable by Florida courts and law enforcement.  

If an injunction is ordered against you, it could very likely be permanent. If it was a Domestic Violence injunction, that means you must surrender all firearms in your possession and cannot be in possession of a firearm. Failure to do so will bring a first-degree misdemeanor charge. Alternatively, if you are the petitioner (the person filing the injunction against someone) of a domestic violence injunction, it might help you sleep at night knowing the respondent cannot legally own or possess a firearm.

Here at Gans Law we represent both petitioners and respondents of injunctions/restraining orders and are familiar with both sides of these cases. If you are thinking about filing an injunction or have had one filed against you, give us a call for a free consultation.

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