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After being served with a petition for a protective order against domestic violence, be careful to follow the letter and spirit of the court order. In many cases, the initial accusations are unfounded, but the respondent violates the court order by contacting the petitioner. Any violation of a temporary or permanent restraining order comes with serious criminal consequences.
In many of these cases, the alleged victim invited or encouraged the contact which violated the court order. Other times the parties have children together and the terms of the protective order do not take into consideration the need for the parties to communicate for some legitimate purpose.
The terms of protective orders can be complex, and it is important to know what you are up against. Never violate the terms of a protective order. Instead, petition the court to modify the order to allow for limited contact for a legitimate purpose. Do not initiate any prohibited contact until the terms of the court order are modified.
Protective orders can be intimidating, but you do not have to face them alone. If you are charged with violating a protective order against domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence or repeat violence, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Pumphrey Law. The attorneys can help you get the best possible results in your case.
Pumphrey Law is located in Tallahassee, but the attorneys also represent men and women charged with this serious offense in the surrounding areas, including Bristol in Liberty County, Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Monticello in Jefferson County and Quincy in Gadsden County. Contact us or call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free consultation.
A court may grant a protective order for a variety of reasons. There does not have to be evidence of domestic violence against a person for a protective order to be issued. In some cases, an order could be issued if the courts deem it necessary to grant a protective order. A few of these reasons can include:
Violation of a protective order is a serious offense that can carry criminal consequences. The orders should be taken seriously, no matter the situation. If you have a protective order against you, but you do not think you did anything wrong, you still should follow the requirements of the order.
If a domestic violence injunction is placed against you, you cannot violate the terms of the order, according to Florida Statute § 741.31(4)(a). The statute says a person could be charged with violating the order if he or she:
To prove someone violated a domestic violence injunction, it must be proved that a final or temporary injunction for protection against domestic violence was issued by a court against the defendant and that he or she willfully violated it by committing an act prohibited by the court order.
Under the statute, the term “willfully” is defined as purposely, knowingly and intentionally committing some act. This means the person knew he or she was not supposed to do a certain thing, such as contact the defendant, but chose to do so anyway.
If a person violates a protection order, he or she is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine or both. Along with these penalties, the court also may order the offender to pay the petitioner’s court and attorney fees. The offender also may be ordered to participate in a batterer’s intervention program.
If you have been charged with violating a restraining order (often called in “injunction” or “order for protection”), then contact an experienced attorney with Pumphrey Law. Our attorneys have more than 20 years of experience serving clients throughout Tallahassee, Leon County, and the Florida Panhandle.
Call (850) 681-7777 to schedule a free case evaluation.
This article was last updated on Thursday, August 11, 2016.
Attorney Don Pumphrey, Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney. Don has achieved over 100 not guilty verdicts at trial and over 2,000 dismissals.
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