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.
Violation of a Protective Order Attorney in Tallahassee
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:
Any history of threats, harassment or abuse made by the respondent
Any previous harm to the petitioner or family members
Intentional harm or killing of a family pet
Previous protective orders in any other jurisdiction
Threats to use or previous use of weapons against the petitioner
Destruction of the petitioner’s property
History of preventing the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement
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.
Pursuing a Violation of Domestic Violence Injunction Charge
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:
Refuses to vacate a home, apartment or other dwelling shared by both parties
Travels within 500 feet of the petitioner’s home, school, job or any other location that has been specified as a place frequented by the petitioner, including the homes of family members
Refuses to surrender firearms and ammunition, if ordered by the court to do so
Threatens by words or actions to do harm to the petitioner
Destroys or damages property belonging to the petitioner
Intentionally communicates with the petitioner, directly or indirectly, unless the protective order specifically allows communication through a third party
Knowingly and intentionally travels within 100 feet of the petitioner’s vehicle, whether that vehicle is occupied or not
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.
Finding A Tallahassee Violation of Domestic Violence Injunction Lawyer
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.
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.