Under Florida law, domestic violence can refer to a wide variety of offenses, including assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, and false imprisonment. A related charge is violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence. This charge can put you behind bars, even if you are not convicted of domestic violence itself.
What is an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence?
If someone in Florida alleges that someone they have lived with has abused them, and/or threatened them with domestic violence, they have the option of filing a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence. In Broward County, someone who seeks an injunction can file for one by going to the Broward County courthouse and filling out the proper paperwork.
The injunction, if granted, will make it illegal for the alleged perpetrator to have contact with the petitioner (that is, the person who filed the injunction). A judge will grant an injunction if he or she determines that the petitioner is either a victim of domestic violence, or is in imminent danger of domestic violence.
If the judge decides to grant an injunction at that time, it will either be a temporary injunction for protection against domestic violence with minor children, or a temporary injunction for protection against domestic violence without minor children, depending on the situation. The temporary injunction will not be effective immediately. It becomes effective when the respondent (the alleged perpetrator of the violence or threat of violence) has been served with a copy of it.
A temporary injunction, if granted, will last for up to 15 days, or until the hearing is held. After the hearing, the judge will decide if it is appropriate to grant a final injunction. If granted, the final injunction will be either a final judgment of injunction for protection against domestic violence with minor child(ren) (after notice), or a final judgment of injunction for protection against domestic violence without minor child(ren) (after notice).
Violations of Injunctions
Violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence is a crime under Florida Statute 741.31. The statute lists eight different ways that someone can violate an injunction:
- Refusing to vacate the dwelling that the parties share;
- Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner’s residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member;
- Committing an act of domestic violence against the petitioner;
- Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the petitioner;
- Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;
- Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner’s motor vehicle;
- Defacing or destroying the petitioner’s personal property; and
- Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court.
Violating an injunction is a misdemeanor in the first degree.
Defense Against Domestic Violence-Related Charges
If you have been charged with violating an injunction for protection against domestic violence, or with domestic violence itself, you should speak to an attorney. Fort Lauderdale defense attorney Mark S. Lowry has years of experience defending his clients against these types of charges. You can contact the office today to set up a free consultation.