DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INJUNCTION DEFENSE ATTORNEY FIGHTING FOR THE ACCUSED THROUGHOUT TAMPA BAY
If someone accuses you of committing a crime of domestic violence, you may face criminal charges, but if the accuser requests a domestic violence injunction, that request is handled by Florida’s family courts rather than the criminal courts.
What are domestic violence injunctions? If you’ll keep reading, you will learn this answer and the other facts that Floridians need to know about domestic violence and injunctions.
In 2018, more than 100,000 domestic violence crimes were reported to law enforcement agencies in Florida. More than 64,000 arrests were made for crimes of domestic violence. Over 6,700 of those arrests were in Hillsborough County, and more than 6,300 were in Pinellas County.
Moreover, it’s estimated that thousands of other victims in Florida fail to report domestic violence crimes – primarily because they fear it may trigger more domestic violence.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AN INJUNCTION?
Not every injunction issued in Florida is linked to domestic violence. Injunctions are also used in employment disputes, sexual harassment situations, and a variety of other contexts. Florida judges issue these basic types of injunctions:
- domestic violence orders and injunctions
- dating violence orders and injunctions
- sexual violence orders and injunctions
- repeat violence orders and injunctions
When domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, or stalking happens in the State of Florida, the alleged victim may seek an injunction that names the alleged perpetrator and orders that person to refrain from contact with the alleged victim.
WHY ARE INJUNCTIONS ISSUED SO QUICKLY?
Judges, prosecutors, and police officers in Florida take domestic violence claims seriously. If they don’t, the result may be tragic. That’s why injunctions are a priority for judges. A temporary injunction is usually issued just hours after a request for the order is received.
If the accuser and the accused are parents, the injunction may also prevent the accused parent from having any contact with the children.
An injunction is a formal court order. Anyone who seeks an injunction must offer persuasive evidence why a judge should issue that order. You cannot get an injunction against someone simply because you don’t like that person.
HOW DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INJUNCTIONS WORK
A typical temporary injunction in Florida takes effect when it is issued and remains in effect for fifteen days. During this time, a hearing will be scheduled to determine if a permanent injunction should be entered.
Permanent domestic violence injunctions usually remain in effect for one year or longer, depending on the facts of the case. Injunctions issued by judges in the State of Florida are enforceable in all fifty states. The consequences of receiving an injunction may include:
- an order to vacate your residence
- loss of your parental rights, in some cases including your right to unsupervised visitation
- an order to surrender your firearms and the loss of the right to purchase firearms
- the loss of your job or disciplinary action by your professional licensing board
- a mention of the injunction on your criminal record
WHAT IF THE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST YOU ARE FALSE?
False accusations of domestic violence are made for all kinds of reasons. An ex-partner may be seeking an advantage in a custody fight, or a teen may implicate a stepparent out of resentment or anger. False domestic violence claims are sometimes made for no apparent reason.
If you are named as the subject of a domestic violence, dating violence, or sexual violence injunction, you may request an appeal hearing. With your attorney’s help, you may be able to have the injunction cancelled.
Your attorney can present a judge with reasons why the injunction should not be extended or made permanent. If the order was issued on the basis of a false accusation, your attorney may be able to prove the truth. In many cases, there is a good chance that the injunction can be cancelled.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU VIOLATE AN INJUNCTION?
The violation of an injunction, whether intentional or unintentional, will be prosecuted in a criminal court as a first-degree misdemeanor, and a conviction may be penalized with a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail.
Attorney Patrick B. Courtney has more than 24 years of legal experience. He’s been a prosecutor, so he knows both sides of domestic violence cases. He knows how to protect his client’s rights and how to defend anyone who becomes the subject of an injunction.
Tampa domestic violence lawyer Pat Courtney represents clients in Pasco, Sarasota, Pinellas, Manatee, Hillsborough, and Polk counties. Learn more by contacting his law offices at (813) 967-2000 or by using the online contact form on this website.