What is the difference between a civil restraining order and a no contact order in South Florida?

While both a restraining order and a no contact order mean you have to stay away from a particular person, they are still very different. The same "outcome" more or less of the orders does not mean they have the same rules.

An infographic shows a woman sitting on the couch with a child, with a mans hand holding an alcohol bottle closer to the camera. The images includes text explaining that domestic violence is serious in Florida and that it is important to know the differences between the different types of restraining orders.

A civil restraining order is civil and creates its own own separate case against you in Florida

A No Contact Order, however, is pursuant to a criminal case against you and involves your criminal case that it is relevant to in Florida. Oftentimes, a No Contact Order is attached to a criminal domestic violence case in Florida.

Let’s say, for example, you have a Florida domestic violence charge against you. That is a criminal charge, and the judge is most likely going to issue a no contact order.

No contact orders are very literal in that they mean NO contact can be made between you and the alleged victim. No letters, no phone calls, no asking your sister to call the alleged victim to tell them something for you -- none of that. ANY form of attempt to contact the alleged victim - whether written, electronic, verbal, etc -- will violate your no contact order and could result in a judge handling your criminal case more harshly. Following the rules of a no contact order in Florida is VERY important. 

The longest a no contact order can last is for the duration of the case plus 12 months of probation after the case is over.

A civil restraining order is a separate action altogether. If someone files a restraining order against you and the judge grants it, it can last for as long as the judge decides—even if that means forever. It doesn't necessarily have to do with anything criminal. If the order is granted, it is important to have an attorney explain the restraining order rules to you so that you don't violate them and get into any further trouble.

Another important difference to note is that with a no contact order you don’t immediately lose your access to guns as a result of the order, whereas if a restraining order is granted against you, you are no longer able to have or own any guns.

CONCLUSION: Civil Restraining Order vs. No Contact Order in Florida 

Get in touch with our firm for a free strategy session to see how we can help you. Because a Florida no contact order and a civil restraining order acan each affect many areas of your life, such as where you live and work - it’s important to make sure you know your rights and have someone who’s fully on your side fighting for you.

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→ RELATED: FREE booklet helps you Understand Domestic Violence charges in Florida 

→ RELATED: FREE booklet on the client experience at Rossen Law Firm