When someone repeatedly follows, harasses, and threatens others, it can cause substantial emotional distress, anxiety, and fear. If this happened to you, our attorneys can help you file an injunction for stalking. We can also help you fight to clear your name if someone filed an unwarranted injunction against you.
If you unknowingly violated a restraining order already in place, or stand accused of violating an injunction, the Goldman Wetzel criminal defense lawyers can also defend you in your criminal case.
Petitioning for a Stalking Injunction
It is important to note that the relationship between the petitioner and respondent in stalking injunctions are generally non-familial. When the alleged stalker is a spouse, partner, ex-partner, or has another similar relationship, you may qualify for a domestic violence or dating violence injunction instead.
To get an injunction for stalking, you need to file a sworn petition detailing the stalking behavior with the local circuit court. We can help you with this process and explain what you can expect next. After we file your petition, the Judge will review it and usually issue an “ex parte” order, which includes a temporary restraining order until we can present our full case against the respondent in court.
Fighting Back Against an Injunction for Stalking
If someone filed an injunction for stalking against you, you will likely get served with a court order detailing the temporary restraining order and a notice to appear in court. If an officer serves you with paperwork about an injunction, give us a call. We can explain the temporary orders, help you understand the case against you, and represent you during the hearing.
The orders in place when you get served are only “ex parte” orders. They are temporary and only last until the date of your hearing. They are based solely on the petitioner’s sworn testimony and do not have any bearing on the outcome of the formal hearing.
We will look into the situation that led to the petition and build a solid case on your behalf. We will present evidence to support your side of the story. We may be able to prevent the ex parte order from becoming permanent.
Violating an Injunction for Stalking Has Serious Consequences
If the petitioner obtains an injunction for stalking against you, it is important that you understand the restrictions outlined in the order and follow them carefully. Violating the injunction is a crime, and you could face serious consequences if you do.
It is important to note that you can face penalties for violating an injunction even if the petitioner contacted you first.
In most cases, violating an injunction for stalking is a first-degree misdemeanor. Penalties associated with a first-degree misdemeanor include:
- Up to one year in jail
- One year of probation
- Up to $1,000 in fines
However, aggravating circumstances or multiple violations of the injunction could lead to increased consequences and even more serious charges. If you knowingly violate a restraining order repeatedly, you could even face felony charges. If you have questions or concerns about an injunction, or if the petitioner accuses you of violating an injunction, call our office.
We may be able to get involved and stop charges before the prosecutor files them or put a strong defense strategy in place to try to clear your name. We will protect your rights and stand by you throughout this process. Let us work to minimize the potential impact of any allegations against you.
Talk to the Goldman Wetzel Attorneys About Your Case
At Goldman Wetzel, our attorneys understand how injunctions work, including how to petition for them or how to defend you against them. Our attorneys always work together on every case. When you hire one of us, you hire our entire team. With our extensive and varied experience — one in the prosecutor’s office and the other a career defense attorney — you get the best of both worlds.
We can answer your questions and help you petition for an injunction for stalking, fight an injunction filed against you, or defend you if you violated an injunction. Let our Florida defense attorneys collect evidence and build the case you need.
Our team handles cases in and around St. Petersburg, Florida, including in Bradenton, greater Pinellas County, Sarasota, Tampa, and Hillsborough County. Call us today at 727-828-3900 to get started with a review of your case.