Temporary Orders Grant Protection

Peace of mind is in reach. Although the state of Florida doesn’t require the assistance of an attorney to file for a restraining order, Attorney Michael Fayard, a Florida family law attorney, can help guide you through the process, advocate for your rights, and ensure you have the best chance of success in a contested hearing.

941 Law Help and attorney Michael Fayard are prepared to help you with your Sarasota restraining order today. Michael is experienced with Florida family law and has the knowledge to guide you as you seek protection from an abuser.

What Kind of Injunctions are Available in Florida?

Florida has several types of injunctions that protect in specific cases. Some require particular evidence, providing various levels of protection for the applicant when granted. An injunction lawyer can help you navigate the process.

Domestic Violence Injunctions

In Florida, domestic violence has a broad definition, covering a range of crimes, including assault, battery, stalking, or kidnapping. Some crimes include destroying a partner’s property or threatening to keep them in residence. If you’ve been a victim of these crimes or feel like you may be in danger of becoming a victim, you can apply for an injunction with help from domestic violence restraining order lawyers.

This type of restraining order is meant to protect you from family or household members.

Stalking or Cyberstalking Injunction

If someone is harassing you over a substantial amount of time and causing you distress, they may be stalking you. They could be cyberstalking you if they attempt to contact you without permission through e-mail or other electronic communications, like texts or instant messages.

If they’ve been messaging you, leaving you unwanted gifts, or following you for no legitimate purpose, you could be eligible for an injunction. These injunctions are the same as domestic violence injunctions.

Repeat Violence Injunctions

You may file an injunction for protection against anyone who has committed at least two acts of violence within the last six months against you, a member of your family, or a member of your household.

These restraining orders are usually applied against co-workers, classmates, or roommates and are meant to protect you against people outside your immediate family.

Dating Violence Injunctions

If you’ve been abused or have reason to believe you could be abused by someone you’ve had a romantic or intimate relationship within the last six months, you can apply for a dating violence injunction. This restraining order does not apply to casual acquaintances or business contexts.

Sexual Violence Injunction

Florida defines sexual assault as any unwanted sexual contact with someone else. Sexual violence covers a broad spectrum of sexual crimes, but if you’ve been a victim of sexual violence, you can file an injunction against the perpetrator.

You can also file this restraining order for any minors in your household. However, you must have reported the sexual violence to a law enforcement agency and cooperate with any criminal proceedings to have the injunction approved.

How Does an Injunction Protect You?

As the names imply, restraining orders legally compel your abuser to follow the law. Restraining orders cover a variety of activities, like:

  • Order the stopping of abuse
  • Exclude the abuser from your home, or order exclusive access to the house for you
  • Grant a temporary parenting plan for any shared children, which could give you 100% of any time-sharing
  • Exclusive possession or control of a family pet or animal that belongs to you or the abuser
  • Order the abuser to stay away from your home or place of business
  • Order treatment or counseling for the abuser with a Batterer’s Intervention Program
  • Anything else a judge deems necessary for your protection

Some injunctions can order the abuser or respondent to turn over any firearms or dangerous ordinances to law enforcement. Others may order the abuser to stop using different social media or other services and can carry penalties for anyone disobeying the orders.

What Do I Need to File an Injunction?

Suppose you feel the need for an injunction, whether you’re being harassed online, accosted by someone in your office, or physically threatened at home. In that case, you will need to go to the courthouse to file a petition for an injunction.

Filing the Petition

You can get the form from the appropriate clerk of court’s office (Sarasota or Manatee counties’ websites) or go to your local courthouse. The clerks will help you fill out the correct forms with accurate information.

By completing the form, you swear that all the information is accurate: you could face penalties for any falsified information. It is important that you get the right information on the petition. Incorrectly completing the forms with the legally relevant incidents and facts of your case can lead to you losing your injunction; worse, you could be prevented from filing another petition on the same events.

Once filed, the petition will be presented to a judge. You won’t need to attend any hearing; the judge will decide based on the type of injunction you’re seeking and if the circumstances presented show a “clear and convincing” standard.

If it’s apparent that the evidence is more probable to be true than not, the judge may grant a restraining order. An attorney to assist you with your petition can ensure that you include all the legally relevant facts and incidents you may need for an injunction.

Receiving Restraining Orders

The judge will likely grant you a temporary injunction if you are eligible for any injunction based on your presentation of facts and allegations that legally support the entry of that order. The temporary will last 15 days, and a “final injunction” hearing will be set within that time.

The order is in place, but the Respondent (the person you are trying to get the injunction on) will not be bound by the terms of the order until he or she is formally served.

Enforcing a Temporary Injunction

Law enforcement, typically a deputy from the sheriff’s office, will deliver the injunction order to the respondent. If they share your household, a law enforcement officer may go with you to ensure the respondent leaves the premises if the order states they must. They will also receive information about the hearing, should they wish to attend.

The Hearing

Once you’ve been granted a temporary injunction, the respondent will receive the papers and hearing information, and you will need to prove to the judge you are at risk of some violence or that there has been violence committed against you.

You’ll present evidence, such as facts supporting your allegations, supporting evidence such as medical bills for injuries caused by the respondent, or police reports filed after a domestic violence call (if the proper party is called to testify), to show the judge you’ve experienced violence or could experience it again. Having an attorney with you as you present your evidence can help the hearing go smoothly.

The respondent will have an opportunity to make counterclaims during the hearing. If the judge finds your evidence shows the danger and the need for a restraining order, they can rule in your favor and grant a final injunction.

How Long Do Restraining Orders Last?

Final injunctions vary in length. The judge could order them to last one or five years or to last an indefinite period. Circumstances can change, however, and you can apply to modify the orders if needed. Other changes, like a place of residence, may affect the orders.

Are There Penalties for Disobeying an Injunction?

There can be severe consequences if someone served with a restraining order intentionally violates it. For instance, if they’ve been ordered to vacate a shared residence or deliberately make threats or calls, the respondent could face charges.

For the first incident, they will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable with one year in jail and a fine of $1,000.

However, further violations could result in steeper penalties. Two or more violations of an injunction could get a respondent charged with a third-degree felony, punishable by a prison term of up to five years and a fine not to exceed $5,000 if convicted.

Turn to a Sarasota, FL Injunction Lawyer for Help with an Injunction

Having an experienced injunction attorney can put you on the path to protection and ensure safety for you and your loved ones. Restraining order law is complicated in Florida, and relying on a legal authority can make it smooth.

Michael Fayard at 941 Law Help is ready to help you get the safety you deserve with a court-ordered injunction. You have every right to feel safe at home, and if you’re being threatened by a family member, a co-worker, or harassed by someone online, you need help.

Call (941) 241-2453 today to get started on your case, or use the online contact form to schedule a consultation.

I worked closely with Mike over a 1-year period and am impressed with not only with his legal skills, but his strong character. He is the type of lawyer I would want fighting for me should a need arise; his court record in his states of licensure speaks for itself." - Mark Simonds