What Happens if I Violate a Domestic Violence Injunction in Fort Lauderdale?
Also known as “restraining orders,” injunctions specify serious consequences for Fort Lauderdale residents – especially in the context of domestic violence. What happens if you violate a domestic violence injunction in Florida? What kinds of consequences can you expect? What happens if you were falsely accused of violating the injunction? These are all common questions among Fort Lauderdale residents, and it makes sense to speak with a qualified defense attorney for clear answers based on your specific situation.
Consequences of Violating an Injunction for Protection in Florida
According to the Florida Courts, injunctions for protection are filed and granted in civil courts – not criminal courts. That being said, violations of these civil injunctions may nonetheless result in criminal charges. The consequences of these violations are relatively straightforward:
- For each specific violation, defendants may face a first-degree misdemeanor
- For each first-degree misdemeanor, the maximum sentence is one year
- Stalking the petitioner may result in aggravated stalking charges
- Aggravated stalking is a third-degree felony
- The penalty for a third-degree felony is up to five years in prison
As we can see, the consequences of violating an injunction in Florida can be quite severe. It is also worth highlighting the fact that you may encounter penalties for each individual violation. This is an important distinction, because there are many ways to violate an injunction. Here are a few potential examples:
- Possessing firearms
- Possessing ammunition
- Spending too much time with your children
- Seeing your children under the wrong circumstances
- Seeing your children without proper supervision
- Not leaving your family home
- Not paying child support
- Not paying spousal support
- Come within a certain distance of the petitioner (usually 500 feet)
- Come within a certain distance of the petitioner’s home (even if it is also technically your home)
- Come within a certain distance of the petitioner’s school
- Come within a certain distance of the petitioner’s workplace
- Come within a certain distance of any place the petitioner is “known to frequent”
- Contact the petitioner (by phone, mail, or digital communication)
- Threaten the petitioner
How Do I Defend Myself Against Allegations of Violating an Injunction?
There are a number of potential defense strategies that may be useful as you strive to avoid the consequences of violating injunctions in Florida including:
- Lack of Intent: You never intended to violate the injunction, and perhaps you simply ran into the petitioner at a public space in a truly coincidental manner.
- Mistaken Identity: The petitioner might have seen someone close by who matches your description – but it wasn’t really you.
- Plea Deals: Accepting a plea deal is a perfectly legitimate strategy, and you may experience lowered penalties in exchange for pleading guilty.
- Lack of Awareness: If you were never made aware of the existence of the injunction, it will be very difficult to convict you of violating it.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney, look no further than Haber Blank, LLP. With our assistance, you can fight allegations of injunction violations with a sense of confidence and efficiency. While the consequences may be serious for these violations, there is no need to sit back and accept excessive penalties – especially if the allegations are false. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective defense strategy.