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Sexual Violence Injunction

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Miami Sexual Violence Injunction Attorney

Being accused of a sexually violent crime is one of the most serious accusations an individual can face in court.  However, that is the exact circumstance one encounters when he or she is served with a “petition for injunction for protection against sexual violence”.   

What is an Injunction? 

An injunction is a court order that specifically orders an individual to stay away from another’s person or property.  It is also referred to as restraining order or protective order. There are five types of injunctions that a victim of domestic violence can seek in Florida. They are:

Each injunction requires different evidence for a court to grant a permanent injunction.  The burden of proof is always on the person that filed the injunction.  The person that files the injunction is called the “Petitioner” and the person that gets served with the injunction is called the “Respondent”. 

After the Petitioner files the injunction, the Judge will review only the facts alleged in writing in the Petition to determine if there is a sufficient basis to grant a temporary injunction against the respondent.  If the Judge grants a temporary injunction, then the case will be set within 15 days for a permanent injunction hearing while law enforcement attempts to serve the Respondent with the temporary injunction.

What is Sexual Violence? 

Under Fla. Stat. 784.046, “sexual violence” means one incident of:

  • Sexual Battery 
  • A Lewd or Lascivious Act
  • Luring or Enticing a Child
  • Sexual Performance by a Child
  • Any other Forcible Felony wherein a Sexual Act is Committed or Attempted

It should be noted that a Petitioner can prove sexual violence regardless of whether criminal charges were filed, reduced, or dismissed by the State Attorney’s Office. 

Who can File a Sexual Violence Injunction?

Any person who is the victim of sexual violence, or the parent or legal guardian of a minor child who is living at home who is the victim of sexual violence, has standing to file the petition for the injunction.  It should be noted that the Petitioner must also be able to show:

  1. That he or she reported the matter to law enforcement and is cooperating in any active investigation or case in court; or
  2. The Respondent who committed the sexual violence against the victim or minor child was sentenced to state prison and is due to be released within 90 days of the date of the petition.

What Happens at a Sexual Violence Injunction Hearing?

At a sexual violence injunction hearing, the Petitioner has the burden to prove that the Respondent committed an act of sexual violence.  The Petitioner can testify, call other witnesses to testify, or submit evidence to the court.  The Respondent, or his or her attorney, then has the ability to cross-examine witnesses or make objections to evidence.

After the Petitioner finishes his or her case, then the Respondent has the option to testify, call witnesses, or produce evidence to the court.  However, it is important to note that the Respondent is not required to produce any testimony or evidence since the burden of proof lays with the Petitioner.  In fact, in many cases, it is advisable for the Respondent to invoke his or her 5th Amendment right to remain silent in these hearings especially if there is still a pending criminal investigation or case.  This decision should be made carefully on a case-by-case basis and should always involve consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. 

After both sides have had an opportunity to present testimony and evidence in the case, the Judge will make a determination whether the Petitioner has proven that the Respondent has committed an act of sexual violence. 

What are the Consequences of a Sexual Violence Injunction?

If the Judge determines that the Respondent has committed an act of sexual violence, then a permanent injunction will be granted.  A permanent injunction can be granted for any period of time is typically granted between one year to indefinitely.  As a part of a permanent injunction, a Judge can also order a Respondent to complete Florida’s batterer’s intervention program, a drug/alcohol evaluation followed by any recommended treatment, a mental health evaluation followed by any recommended treatment, and/or a parenting class.  In addition, a permanent injunction will prohibit the Respondent from owning or possessing a firearm. 

What Happens if I Violate a Sexual Violence Injunction?

Violating a Sexual Violence Injunction can lead to serious consequences including being held in contempt of court, an extension of the permanent injunction, or criminal charges. 

Do I Need an Attorney for a Sexual Violence Injunction?

You are not required to have an attorney at a permanent injunction hearing. You also don’t have the right to a public defender like you would if you were facing criminal charges.  However, it is highly advisable to retain a skilled criminal defense attorney for a permanent injunction hearing.

As stated previously, permanent injunctions have serious consequences including coming up on a background check, loss of rights to own a firearm, and potential jail time and immigration consequences upon a violation of the injunction. 

Find an Attorney for Sexual Violence Injunctions in Miami, FL

If you were served with a Sexual Violence Injunction in Miami, FL, or anywhere in Miami-Dade County, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to get expert legal advice and assistance in preparing your defense. 

Our criminal defense attorney, E.J. Hubbs, is extremely experienced in handling injunction cases.  He is also board certified in criminal trial law, a distinction held by less than 1% of the attorneys in the State of Florida. 

At Hubbs Law Firm, we fight to protect the rights of clients who are served with any injunction, including Sexual Violence Injunctions, in Miami, Miami Beach, Doral, Miami Shores, North Miami, South Miami, Kendall, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, Homestead, and anywhere else in Miami-Dade County.

Call us today at (305) 570-4802 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

Additional Resources 

National Domestic Violence Hotline - The Domestic Violence Hotline was founded by the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Find information on this hotline 24 hours a day 7 days a week by phone call, text, or chat.

Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office  - the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office prosecutes individuals who are charged with crimes related to domestic violence.

Florida Courts - Find information on filing an injunction for protection against domestic violence in the State of Florida.

Department of Children and Families (DCF) - get domestic violence information from the Department of Children and Families who is the Florida agency charged with protecting children in domestic violence situations. 

Miami-Dade Clerk of Court - find information on filing an injunction for protection against domestic violence in Miami, FL.

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Attorneys E.J. & Erika Hubbs

As professional Miami criminal defense attorneys, we take every case personally give every client the deliberate care it deserves. Our clients become part of our family and we fight relentlessly for their rights. Read more about us to find out how we can help you.

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