Injunctions, also known as restraining orders, are legal orders that require someone to stop doing something or to refrain from doing something. In Florida, injunctions are commonly used in situations involving domestic violence, stalking, harassment, and repeat violence. If you are a victim of any of these types of behavior, you may be able to obtain an injunction to protect yourself. If you are accused of the above-described behavior, there are significant effects of having an injunction entered against you. Regardless of whether you are seeking an injunction or responding to an request for an injunction, the attorneys at McNary Powers, PLLC can assist you.
The legal process for obtaining an injunction in Florida can be complicated and confusing, but it is important to understand the steps involved if you are considering seeking an injunction.
Types of Injunctions in Florida
There are several types of injunctions available in Florida, each with its own specific requirements and legal standards. The most common types of injunctions are:
- Domestic Violence Injunctions: Domestic violence injunctions are used to protect victims of domestic violence, which is defined as any assault, battery, sexual assault, or other violent act committed by a household or family member. These injunctions can also be used to protect victims of dating violence.
- Stalking Injunctions: Stalking injunctions are used to protect victims of stalking, which is defined as any pattern of behavior that causes a person to fear for their safety or the safety of their family. This can include following, harassing, or threatening behavior.
- Repeat Violence Injunctions: Repeat violence injunctions are used to protect victims of repeated acts of violence or harassment by someone who is not a household or family member. This can include acts committed by co-workers, neighbors, or acquaintances.
- Dating Violence Injunctions: Dating violence injunctions are used to protect victims of violence or imminent violence by someone with whom the petitioner has been in an intimate relationship within the preceding six (6) months.
- Sexual Violence Injunctions: Sexual violence injunctions are used to protect victims of sexual violence. The petitioner must have reported the crime and bee cooperating with law enforcement.
- Chapter 39 Injunctions: Chapter 39 injunctions are used to protect children from abuse, abandonment, or neglect, usually from a party who is not a parent of the child or children. A Chapter 39 injunction is usually sought by the Department of Children and Families, following an investigation pursuant to chapter 39 of the Florida Statutes.
The Legal Process for Obtaining an Injunction
To obtain an injunction in Florida, you must file a petition with the court. The petition must include specific information about the incidents of violence or harassment that have occurred, including dates, times, and locations. You will also need to provide evidence, such as witness statements, photographs, or medical records, to support your claims.
Once you have filed your petition, a judge will review it and decide whether to issue a temporary injunction. A temporary injunction can be issued without a hearing and is designed to provide immediate protection for the victim while the court considers the case.
If a temporary injunction is issued, the person you are seeking protection from will be notified and will have the opportunity to respond. A hearing will then be scheduled, usually within 15 days, where both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments.
After the hearing, the judge will decide whether to issue a final injunction. If a final injunction is issued, it will be in effect for a specified period of time, usually one year, and can be renewed if necessary.
Violating an Injunction
If someone violates an injunction, they can be arrested and charged with a crime. Violating an injunction can result in a variety of penalties, including fines, imprisonment, or both.
Injunctions are an important tool for protecting victims of domestic violence, stalking, harassment, and repeat violence in Florida. If you are a victim of any of these types of behavior, it is important to understand the legal process for obtaining an injunction and to seek the help of an experienced attorney. Alternatively, if you are wrongly accused of domestic violence, stalking, harassment, or repeat violence and an injunction is entered against you, the possible consequences are significant and very serious.
With the right legal representation, you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family.