What is a domestic violence injunction?
A petition for a domestic violence injunction is also known as a restraining order or protective order. Anyone can file for an injunction if they are a victim of domestic violence or have reasonable cause to believe their life is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of any act of domestic violence.
Types of injunctions:
- Domestic Violence
- Domestic Violence with children
- Repeat Violence
- Dating Violence
- Sexual Violence
The Petitioner or “victim” can file a petition for an injunction at the courthouse and there is no fee to fill out the paperwork and file. The hearing on petition for the Temporary Injunction takes place without either party in the courtroom. The Judge must make a finding on whether the alleged conduct was sufficient to grant a temporary injunction while only reviewing the “four corners of the petition”. He cannot review other evidence or ask questions of the petitioner.
If the temporary injunction is granted, then a permanent injunction hearing will be set within 15 days in accordance with Florida law. The Respondent is not legally bound by the terms of the temporary injunction until he or she is personally is served with the injunction. At that point, any willful contact made by the Respondent towards the Petitioner could result in misdemeanor criminal charges for violating a domestic violence injunction.
At a permanent injunction hearing, the judge will decide whether the Petitioner has established his or her burden that the Respondent has committed an act of domestic violence, stalking, dating violence, repeat violence, or sexual violence. Generally, the judge will take testimony from both parties, witnesses, and consider any other relevant evidence. If the Judge grants the permanent injunction, the judge will set a specific length of time for the injunction to remain in place. The length of each injunction varies from case to case. It can generally range from one year to an indefinite injunction.
How can a permanent injunction affect your life?
Once a permanent injunction is in place it can have serious consequences. These effects can be far stretching and go beyond simply not being able to be near or have contact with the person who filed the petition.
- You will have no contact with the Petitioner. This includes face-to-face, telephone calls, text messages, email, postal mail, and online chats.
- You will have to surrender any firearms and/or concealed carry permits. You will also not be able to purchase additional firearms.
- It will show up on your criminal background check despite the fact that an injunction is a civil proceeding. This means potential employers, landlords, and others can see the injunction.
- An injunction is enforceable nationwide and not just in the state of Florida.
- If you are living with the Petitioner you will have to leave the residence.
- If you have a professional licensure, you may be required to report the injunction and face any disciplinary action by the organization.
- If you are not a United States citizen, you can be deported or prevented from getting citizenship.
- If children are involved it may result in supervised visitations/no contact and effect custody and/or child support.
- If the petitioner is a co-worker you may lose your job.
- You may be stripped of your security clearance if you work for the government.
- Your admission to universities, colleges, or the military may be affected as well as eligibility for certain scholarships/federal grants.
Any violations of the injunction can result in a criminal offense. You can also be arrested and serve jail time.
What can I do if faced with an injunction?
Having a permanent injunction on your record can be catastrophic. As a Respondent you are allowed to hire a defense attorney that will represent you at the Injunction hearing. A domestic violence attorney will ensure that the Petitioner bears the burden of proof that shows they have reasonable cause to believe that they were a victim of the alleged violence or that they were in actual imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.
In addition, an experienced attorney can engage in discovery with the other party pursuant to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. This allows someone accused of facts in a petition for an injunction to request admissions, interrogatories, and production of documents. Depositions are also permitted so the other party can ask questions of the Petitioner under oath before the hearing.
At Hubbs Law Firm in Miami, an experienced attorney who specializes in domestic violence, restraining orders, protective orders, and injunctions will make sure that your rights are not being taken advantage of. Injunctions should never be used to harass, show malice, get revenge, or gain advantage of, especially during situations of divorce or child custody cases. A domestic violence attorney at Hubbs Law firm in Miami will consult with you on your case to ensure you have the best possible defense.
Call Hubbs Law Firm at (305) 665-9040 for a consultation with a Miami domestic violence attorney experienced in restraining orders and protective orders.