What Happens If I Violate a Restraining Order in Florida?

What Happens If I Violate a Restraining Order in Florida?

In Florida, violating a restraining order can result in criminal or civil consequences, depending on the type of restraining order and the circumstances of the violation. The penalties for such violations can be harsh, including fines and imprisonment. Even inadvertent contact can lead to arrest, emphasizing the importance of strictly adhering to the injunction’s terms.

Types of Injunctions in Florida

Florida recognizes several types of injunctions, each designed to prevent violence and protect victims. These include Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Repeat Violence Injunctions, Restraining Orders, and Protective Orders. Understanding the specific restrictions of each injunction type is crucial for compliance.

Examples of Violating Domestic Violence Injunctions in Florida

Several cases in Florida involve someone violating a domestic violence restraining order and receiving jail time as a result. However, in some cases, the jail time is not a direct result of the violation, and in other cases, the conviction or sentence is overturned on appeal.

For example, Florida Statute § 741.31 states that a person who willfully violates an injunction for protection against domestic violence can be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree, which is punishable by jail time. Similarly, Florida Statute § 784.046 states that law enforcement officers may arrest violators, and Florida Statute § 741.2901 states that criminal prosecution is the favored method of enforcing compliance with injunctions.

Several cases involve someone violating a domestic violence restraining order and receiving jail time as a result. One example of this is in Sando v. State of Florida, the defendant was jailed for six months for violating a domestic violence injunction, and in Kirkland v. State of Florida, the defendant’s probation was revoked for violating a no contact order. 

However, in both cases, the convictions were ultimately overturned on appeal. In Gordon v. State of Florida, the defendant was found guilty of indirect criminal contempt for violating a domestic violence injunction and was sentenced to probation with the special condition of 30 days in jail on weekends. However, it needs to be clarified from the case whether the jail time was a direct result of the violation or due to other factors the court considered.

Legal Proceedings and Defense Strategies

Navigating Temporary and Permanent Injunctions

The duration of a domestic violence restraining order varies. Temporary orders remain in effect until a hearing, where a final injunction is determined. This final injunction could be indefinite, requiring ongoing adherence or legal action for modification or dissolution.

The Role of Defense in Injunction Hearings

Contesting a temporary injunction at a hearing is a critical step. Defense strategies involve presenting evidence and witnesses to dispute the petitioner’s claims, aiming to dismiss or limit the injunction.

Importance of Legal Representation

Given the complexity and potential consequences of injunction violations, hiring a criminal defense attorney is advisable. An attorney can guide through the legal process, prevent violations, and represent interests in court, possibly leading to favorable modifications or dissolution of the injunction.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Call Us

Rossen Law Firm is here for you. Understanding the complicated landscapes of restraining orders isn’t easy for anyone to navigate alone. Contact us today for a free strategy session before something gets misinterpreted or an agreement is violated. We are your shield in all legal matters. We are here for you.

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