This Blog is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Some posters are court ordered to have no contact of any kind with the person having a Restraining Order against them. Meaning no third party contact as well. If you by chance know a person one of our posters/authors is discussing to share their experiences with others, we ask you to respect our rights to free speech, under the United States Constitution. Restraining Order Blog is not meant to harass, directly or indirectly contact, harm, intimidate, bring any emotional distress, stalk or cyberstalk, nor intentionally slander or damage any individual in any way. Nor is it intended to initiate any third party contact on behalf of any poster or author, or violate a current restraining order in any way either. If you feel there is anything here that is slanderous, untrue, or illegal, please bring it to our attention. We will examine your request promptly, and any post you find offensive will be reviewed for removal in a timely manner. If you have a story to share, email me at ka7niq@yahoo.com, and I will add you as an author on Restraining Order Blog.












10/11/2009

Violation of Injunction - A Criminal Offense in Florida

Violation of Injunction - A Criminal Offense in Florida



Although injunctions are only issued after a civil court hearing, a person who violates an injunction in Florida will likely face criminal prosecution. Most often, violations of injunction charges are treated as a first degree misdemeanor offense. However, in some situations, a person can be charged with the felony offense of “Aggravated Stalking” if their case involves multiple violations of their injunction in an attempt to harass or threaten the other party.

What is an Injunction?

An “injunction” is a court order that is issued by a Circuit Court Judge that places restrictions on a person’s ability to have contact with another individual. Although many people commonly refer to this type of court order as a “restraining order,” Florida law uses the term “injunction” exclusively.
The underlying rationale for the aggressive treatment of these violations is premised on the idea that the defendant willfully disregarded a direct court order. .

Types of Injunctions Issued by the Florida Court System

Florida law allows a Circuit Court Judge to issue four different types of injunctions. Each type of injunction is designed to prevent or limit contact between individuals. Generally speaking, the nature of the relationship that the people had prior to the issuance of the injunction will dictate the appropriate injunction that will ultimately be issued by the court. The four types of injunctions are:

•Domestic Violence Injunctions
•Repeat Violence Injunctions
•Dating Violence Injunctions
•Sexual Violence Injunctions
Violation of a Domestic Violence Injunction

If an “Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence” has been issued against you, it is important to read the document carefully. Depending on the specifics of the injunction, it may be a criminal act to:

•Refuse to vacate the dwelling that you share with the other party;
•Go to, or be within 500 feet of, the petitioner's residence, school, place of employment, or any specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member;
•Commit an act of domestic violence against the petitioner;
•Commit any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat to do violence to the petitioner;
•Telephone, contact, or otherwise communicate with the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact;
•Knowingly and intentionally come within 100 feet of the petitioner's motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;
•Deface or destroy the petitioner's personal property, including the petitioner's motor vehicle; or
•Refuse to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so in the injunction.
We can review your injunction to determine whether the behavior that is alleged to have caused your violation, is in fact, prohibited by the terms and conditions of the court order.

Violation of a Repeat Violence, Dating Violence or Sexual Violence Injunction

The number of ways an Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence, Dating Violence or Sexual Violence can be violated are limited. It is very important to read the injunction carefully. Depending on the specifics of the injunction, it may be a criminal act to:

•Refuse to vacate the dwelling that you share with the other party;
•Go to the petitioner's residence, school, place of employment, or any specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member;
•Commit an act of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence against the petitioner;
•Commit any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat to do violence to the petitioner; or
•Telephone, contact, or otherwise communicate with the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact.
How Long Does an Injunction Last?

The length of an injunction will vary from one case to another. However, under Florida Statute §784.046(7)(c), a Circuit Court Judge can order that an injunction remain in full force and effect permanently. This could mean that the injunction will last forever unless it is modified or dissolved by the issuing court. Although either person may ask the court to modify or dissolve the injunction, neither party may change the terms of the injunction without obtaining the permission of the court first.

What If the Other Person Wants Contact?

Many people make the mistake of assuming that the person who obtains an injunction also has the power to waive the terms of the injunction on their own without ever going to court. This is not true! An injunction, once granted, must be modified through a court hearing before a Circuit Court Judge. Even though the person who has been granted the injunction may have forgiven you and sought out contact with you, the violation of the terms of the injunction may still result in a criminal charge against you. You should know that Florida Statute ss. 784.046(13) gives law enforcement the discretion to arrest and charge you for a violation of an injunction regardless of the “victim’s” consent to contact. Therefore, the permission of the “victim” alone will not stop the police from arresting you for a violation of the injunction.

In order to effectively dissolve an injunction it is necessary to set a hearing before the appropriate Circuit Court Judge and give notice to all the parties involved. During the hearing the judge will make an inquiry in order to determine whether lifting the injunction is in the best interests of the State and the parties. Given the wishes of the other party to resume contact with you, there is a great likelihood can be convinced to dissolve the injunction.

What if the Other Person Initiates Contact?

Even if the other person initiates contact with you after you have been served with the injunction, this contact on their part does not void the binding effect of the original injunction. Efforts at reconciliation on the part of the Petitioner can be dangerous as they could subject you to arrest for violation of the injunction. Keep in mind that only the judge can dismiss the injunction. If law enforcement observes a violation of the injunction, you are still subject to arrest, regardless of the fact that contact was initiated by the other party.


Violation of Injunction - Penalties

In Florida, a violation of injunction is a first-degree misdemeanor. The maximum possible penalty carries up to a $1,000.00 fine and as much as 365 days in Jail. Violating an injunction is looked upon as a serious offense by the Florida Court system. It is not unusual for the prosecutor to view a violation of injunction as not just a crime against a particular victim, but also a crime against the peace and dignity of the State of Florida. The prosecutor will argue that your violation of the injunction demonstrated a disregard for the law and a disregard for the authority of the Court to modify or restrict your behavior. Likewise, the Court will be concerned about the possibility that your continued violation of the injunction could lead to the commission of a violent crime. Accordingly, many Judges who are called on to impose a sentence in a Violation of Injunction case want to send a strong message that violating a court ordered injunction will not be tolerated.

If you are convicted of violating a domestic related injunction, the judge is mandated by Florida law to require you to attend a 26 week course of domestic violence counseling. This penalty can be waived, if the court is persuaded to make findings on the record that counseling is not necessary or appropriate in your case. Our office can discuss with you the possibility of persuing a waiver of this requirement.

Often times, You can make the prosecutor aware of important facts that cast you in a positive light or draw attention to special circumstances. These include such factors as:

•The contact between you and the other party may have been consensual.
•The petitioner may have initiated the contact with you.
•The petitioner does not want to prosecute and desires reconciliation.
•The injunction has been dissolved, or is presently scheduled for a hearing for that purpose, or the petitioner is agreeable to dissolving the injunction but has not yet taken the required action to do so.
•The underlying facts that led to the injunction being granted in the first place were not of an aggravated nature.
•You violated a temporary injunction and the final injunction was never granted. This fact could be especially favorable if the final injunction was not granted because the petitioner decided not to proceed or the judge decided that the facts supporting the original petition for the injunction did not warrant the granting of a permanent injunction.
•The violation of the injunction occurred due to a coincidence, chance meeting, or was otherwise of a minimal nature.

Possible Defenses against Violating An Injunction

•The Contact that Violated Your Injunction was Unintentional
Violation of an injunction must be willful. Florida law does not permit the State to prosecute a person who inadvertently or unintentionally violates an injunction. We may be able to argue that your contact with the petitioner was an accidental meeting.

•You Never Received Notice of the Final or Permanent Injunction
Florida courts have determined that “notice” or “service” of a permanent injunction must be accomplished before a person can be prosecuted for violation of the injunction. In other words, you must have received “actual service” or been provided with a copy of the permanent injunction personally, prior to the time you were alleged to have violated the terms of the injunction. This defense applies even in situations where you were personally served with the temporary injunction notice, but never received actual service of the final injunction. See Livingston v. State, 847 So. 2d 1131 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003).

•Your Injunction Violation Occurred When You Lawfully Complied with a Court Order in a Divorce, Child Support or Custody Proceeding
There are many situations where a Circuit Court Judge in a divorce, child support, or child custody proceeding will order that you and the other party have contact. Often this contact is required by the court for the purpose of working out a visitation or payment schedule, dividing up property, or discussing other aspects of the ongoing civil legal proceedings. If your violation of injunction was caused by your reasonable compliance with a judge’s order in a civil case, this may constitute a defense against the criminal charge.

Domestic Violence Intervention Program - Getting the Charge Dismissed

Upon successful completion of Domestic Violence Intervention Program, the criminal charge pending against you will be dismissed.

Plea Bargains

If other options are unavailable, an Attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor and the judge for the most lenient disposition possible. It is important to make all of the mitigating facts and circumstances in your case known to the court. Making the judge aware of the following additional information could prove to be an effective strategy:

•The contact that caused the violation of the injunction was merely verbal in nature and did not contain threats of violence.
•The contact took place through a third party for the purpose of obtaining personal property or for another reason related to ending the relationship amicably.
•You have already started on completing the 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling prior to going to court.
•You have already begun attendance at an anger management course assigned to you by your attorney. (In some situations, the shorter anger management course may be more appropriate to the unique circumstances involved in your case.)
•The other party in the case does not want to see you prosecuted or, at a minimum, does not want to see you sentenced to time in jail.
•The injunction has since been dissolved or otherwise dismissed.


As you can see, the law governing violations of an injunction is complex. Getting the best possible outcome requires a thorough review of the individual facts of your case and a coordinated strategy. A good criminal defense attorney can uncover the relevant issues in your case and create an effective game plan to resolve your case satisfactorily. .

26 comments:

  1. My brother has a restraining order against him in Baker Co Florida. He had to leave the county so he left the state and moved to Ky. to live with our parents. His wife in Florida has called the police and stated that he was in Florida stalking her in a silver SUV. He has never left the state of Ky or our County since his arrival. Deputies were sent out to my parents house to see if he was home at 12 midnight. He was home. He fears for his life because of her alcoholic father and her uncle. He talked to detectives and legal aid here and they had him fill out restraining order papers against her, to leave him alone and stop harassing him. Today his PO called him in to see her, the day after his wife was served.
    The Judge in Florida put out a bench warrant for his arrest and he is being taken back to Fl for third party contact thru the police. Is this right? How can this be? She wants him in jail so bad. She asked the judge to give him 20 years (the max) because she feared he'd harm her. There has never been a bruise on her, no police calls, no reports. EVER! The court system there is riddled with her relatives, Taylor is the name. What shall he do? Any advise please?
    C.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That doesn't sound right, perhaps the warrant was for not notifying Florida Probation of his leaving? He has a right to obtain an Injunction if the court sees fit to do so...and the Sheriff's Office would have to serve it. That would not be considered third party contact.

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  2. I am not a criminal defense attorney, but here are my experiences with 3rd Party Contact In Hillsborough County Florida. My ex is an LPN, who is on Social Security Disability for several Mental Disorders. I have witnessed her cut her wrists and arms up with a Razor Blade. Well before any restraining orders, I told her I was going to inform the Florida Board Of Nursing. I believe her getting a restraining order against me was part of an attempt to discredit me, and stop me from proceeding!
    I have a Florida Board of Nursing Complaint all Witnessed and Notarized, and ready to go about this Hillsborough County Nurse, but my hands are tied! I was advised by the Sheriffs Department and a Criminal Defense Attornet in Tampa that I will be arrested for third party contact if I do!
    I was forced to plead guilty to 3 years probation, or face financial ruin fighting all the charges she deceived me into getting. So, my hands are tied. There was a ruling in a Florida Appeals Court that third party contact in an official proceeding like calling the Police on someone is allowed, but it may have been overturned. It is absolutely terrible the power these restraining orders give to people.
    I would seek legal advice as soon as possible.

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  3. What if u violated an injunction the first time and the charges ended up being dropped. This is due to the party who reported the violation never showing up in court. Then a couple months later u get back together and then a month after u restarted the relationship. It ended badly and now there is alot of back and fourth thru email and she decides to report u again. Since she never showed up to court the first time is that taken into consideration?

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  4. Wally, IS or was there an injunction or restraining order in place when u guys got back together ?
    It is quite common for women to trick you into getting back with them to get you to violate the injunction. That she never showed up for the first violation means nothing. Each violation of an injunction is a separate case. You can save her emails, but they are no defense. She was not prohibited from contact with you. The Judge may take her contact with you into consideration.

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  5. My wife has filed injunction against me. She lives with our three young kids. I've turned off all utilities and refused to pay the rent.
    Am I violating my injunction?

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    Replies
    1. You're a real piece of sh*t. You are doing that to your kids, good for you! FATHER OF THE YEAR! You need that injunction.

      Delete
  6. It depends on the language of your injunction, but in my opinion, no.
    Generally domestic violence injunctions are meant to keep 2 people away from each other.
    Still, you must ask yourself if it is good to punish your children, to get back at your wife ?
    Those are your children, your flesh and blood.

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  7. April 22,2011
    My husband and mother in law filed permanent injunctions on me. I was unaware of the seriousness of the injunctions come to find out they are permanent. They filed with no proof on anything. I did not challenge the injunctions now I am fighting in court to get them dismissed. I filed dismissal on Feb 22 2012. My mother in law filed for a violation of injunction that had occured in November 2011 on March 9th. Our court date was March 15th. I pocket dialed her because I have her number saved as DO NOT CALL and the calls were less then 20 seconds each. I did not speak to her or call intentionally. What can I do. I am scared cuz I have a CLEAN record an she promised me when she was done with me I wouldn't. She waited 4 months to file for violation. What can I do??? PLEASE HELP ME

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  8. I have an injunction against my husband for one year and he has supervised visitation of children and he sent me an email saying he wished he would have killed me when he had the chance. i am scared and afraid to tell anyone because he will just deny it

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  9. The woman my boyfriend had a fling with when we almost separated filed an injunction against me because I threatened one on her. She is a teacher who is bi-polar. She is harassing me via social media sites and online gaming through his accounts. He laughs and blocks her but she always finds a way through. She is becoming increasingly more desperate in her attempts and the last chat dialog online mentioned her own name, mine and his. But because she is hiding behind a character on a game means she is skirting the law and can say it isnt her. What can I do? I have 10 months left on the injunction and I plan on moving in 6 months to another state. The kicker? Her family live about an hour from where I want to move. This creeps me out. She filed the injunction because I advised her school where she teaches to drug test her because she is a Zanax abuser and sells and uses pot. Would you want a mentally ill pot head who abuses pills teaching your kids? She freaked and called the police, fabricated lies and I accepted the injunction thinking I would be rid of her. Not so much. Any help?

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    Replies
    1. No one can help you because you are not telling the whole story. You have an injunction against you for battery against this person. No one had to fabricate lies when you were reported and questioned for assault and battery. In fact, your one verbal statement on the police report is a complete lie. You accepted the injunction because you were afraid to be charged with the battery. If you continue to believe your own lies and pretend you did not act irrationally and violently you cannot change your actions in the future. Which means no, no one can help, as long as you refuse to face the truth.

      Delete
    2. How do you know who this person is if you aren't literally stalking them?

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  10. There is an Order of Protection against me to see my wife this is ridiculous we reconciled the day after we got in a fight she made up a story to get me in trouble back in february then an anonymous tip cops showed up while i was reading my daughters goodnite books the criminal matter is nnow done since the state had me on the violationof the order of protection i was forced to plea but it was to a non violent harassment charge how in gods name can this judge refuse us the opportunity to be together when i have no criminal past no history of violence or anything this is completely crazy. My fiancee and 2 daughters are horribly depressed i cant work certain jobs that i do 4 my business my fiancee and i work a business together that is now not functioninng the STATE of NEW YORK is destroying our family financially, emotionally in every way possible i now live in fla and am moving the girls down soon my fiancee was appointed an attorney i hired an attorney and i order to get my daughters off the original oop i was forced to file a petition in family ct which brougt my case to supreme court where the original qualified judge recued herself nopw we have a perverted psycho divorce judge that the childrens law guardian my attorney and my fiancees attorney are begging to at least modify this oop this perverted freak refuses due to some nut job in erie cty that cut off his wifes head when the oop was droppd so my innocent family must suffer from a pointless oop with the only intent to destroy our lives it serves no other purpose i am sick disgusted and thinking about startig a revolutionn against a sick dillouted unjust government!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. HI,
    Wife has injunction. I want to serve her with divorce papers. I don't know her current address, nor where she works. How can I serve her? I do have a PO Box and parents' address, but she doesn't live there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have any court appearances coming up you can take it to the sheriff at the court house and have her served when she arrives in court.

      Delete
  12. I just found out that i missed the a court date how long can i go to jail for

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  13. What did u miss a court date for ?

    ReplyDelete
  14. My husband and I got into a fight and I ended up in jail b/c I refused to talk when the cops came,and he had visible injuries,now there is a no contact order against me. At first I refused to answer his emails,texts and phone calls until he stated he would not allow me to see our children until I responded to him so I did..stupid mistake I know..however now he will not remove it b/c he uses it to control me if he does not like my opinion,if i disagree with him, or just don't answer my phone quick enough I am going to jail..so my question is there any thing I can do to get this no contact lifted myself?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah stop all your cheating, nothing pisses off a man more than cheating

      Delete
  15. Save every email and phone call you can. Install a separate phone answering machine you can use to play for a judge, to prove he is calling you.
    Try to get an audience with the judge who originally granted the order, to prove he is not in fear of you, and is using the injunction as a means of controlling you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. in 1998 I put a restraining order on my ex psyco wife Jackie, she attacked me and picked up a hammer and went after our son with it. I would get the typical phone calls at 4 and 5 in the morning, all from a cell phone. now 15 years later she is still with the boyfriend paul, I love it! this is the good part, in march he was arrested with 12 ak47 guns, a sniper rifle, machine guns, and over 17000 rounds of ammo, lol talk about sweet revenge! this is the guy she wanted to be with instead of me, lol, she hasn't seen our sons in 15 years, this guy is going to the pen for a long time the guy at the sheriffs office said, oh did I mention he is a felon who isn't allowed to own a single gun? LOL, no more tree business I guess lol, now i'm looking into seeing if she violated the order against her by being around all these weapons.......stupid, stupid woman............what mother doesn't see her own kids?

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  17. I have a temporary restraining order in place against my neighbor. My neighbor violated it and was arrested prior to the initial hearing. The trail is still going on for me to try and keep the restraining order in place. Meanwhile, the state dropped the arrest. I have video, my neighbors own wife gave a sworn statement her husband would not stop talking to me. I gave a sworn statement. In disposition my neighbor admitted violating the restraining order. Prior to the arrest being dropped I previously sent a letter to the court advising I wanted to prosecute on the arrest. What are my options the case was no filed in Sept. 2013?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have a temporary restraining order in place against my neighbor. My neighbor violated it and was arrested prior to the initial hearing. The trail is still going on for me to try and keep the restraining order in place. Meanwhile, the state dropped the arrest. I have video, my neighbors own wife gave a sworn statement her husband would not stop talking to me. I gave a sworn statement. In disposition my neighbor admitted violating the restraining order. Prior to the arrest being dropped I previously sent a letter to the court advising I wanted to prosecute on the arrest. What are my options the case was no filed in Sept. 2013?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just had a domestic violence injunction expire where both me and the other party violated with contact. However there was no charges or police report issues for those violations and all i have are printed out text messages from her. Now she filed a new injuction because im taking her for child custody and suppport. Can i be charged for criminal charges for the expired injunction?

    ReplyDelete