The State of Florida takes injunctions seriously and doles out steep penalties for violators. A judge can issue an injunction, also referred to as a restraining order, protective order, or no-contact order, to place restrictions on one person’s contact with another. Violating the terms of the order can result in criminal persecution and jail time — even for first-time offenders. Defendants with a history of injunction violations may face felony charges and time in state prison.
If you have been arrested for a restraining order violation, contact the injunction violation lawyers in Bradenton, FL at Goldman Wetzel. We can explain your defense options and help fight to either prevent formal charges or build a viable defense to protect your best interests. Give us a call today for a free consultation: 941-405-5193.
Does Goldman Wetzel Accept Injunction Violation Cases in Bradenton?
Yes. We represent people throughout Florida who have been accused of misdemeanor and felony crimes in both state and federal court. Our attorneys have experience on both sides of the aisle, giving us the training, skills, and resources to help defendants in Bradenton facing various types of charges including restraining order violations.
Some of the related offenses we can help fight include:
- Domestic violence;
- Assault and battery;
- Stalking and aggravated stalking;
- Lewd and lascivious offenses;
- Criminal trespassing; and
- Sexual assault.
Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help protect your rights and take steps to reduce your risk of conviction and imprisonment.
Why Did I Get Accused of Violating a Protective Order?
Each no-contact order has unique stipulations. The “Injunction for Protection” order the court issued you contains the specifics about the restrictions you must abide by. There are five types of injunctions available in Florida: domestic violence injunctions, repeat violence injunctions, dating violence injunctions, stalking injunctions, and sexual violence injunctions. The relationship of the involved parties essentially determines the type of order the judge will issue.
Some of the activity that an injunction may forbid includes:
- Refusing to leave the home you share with the other party (called the plaintiff or petitioner);
- Going within 500 feet of any place the plaintiff regularly goes;
- Making any contact with the plaintiff (direct or indirect) in person, via phone, or by any other means;
- Threatening to commit violence against the plaintiff;
- Defacing the plaintiff’s property;
- Going with 100 feet of the plaintiff’s vehicle; and
- Refusing to surrender firearms.
If the plaintiff or another party reports to law enforcement that you violated the restraining order in any way, law enforcement can arrest you and charge you with violating an injunction.
What If the Other Party Initiated Contact?
It makes no difference which of the parties involved in an injunction initiated contact; you can still face charges. If you are party to a restraining order, you must abide by it. If the plaintiff wants contact, a Circuit Court Judge must modify the order before any communication between the two of you is legal. The plaintiff does not have the authority to lift a no-contact order.
Contact with the other party is a violation until a judge has modified the order.
Law enforcement also does not need the plaintiff’s consent to arrest someone if they have violated a restraining order.
While the plaintiff’s actions or protests might not deter an arrest for an injunction violation, if the other party initiated the contact in your situation, we will certainly present those details to the prosecutor or court as an attempt to either circumnavigate charges or obtain a dismissal.
What Are the Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order?
Per Florida Statute § 741.31, injunction violations are a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The judge might also order the defendant to attend a 26-week domestic violence counseling course.
With two or more convictions for injunction violations on your record, the state will automatically escalate your charges to a third-degree felony. This drastically increases penalties, potentially resulting in a sentence of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, not to mention additional sanctions such as loss of voting privileges and the right to own a gun.
How Can Goldman Wetzel Help with Restraining Order Violations?
If you contact us soon after your arrest, we may be able to intervene with the prosecutor and present facts that completely change the scope of your case. For instance, we might be able to show the prosecutor that the petitioner made the initial contact or wants to reconcile. This might sway the state to forgo filing charges or to drop the case.
If the restraining order has dissolved or if the encounter you had with the petitioner was unintentional, we can present those facts, as well.
When you work with us, we will:
- Comb through the facts;
- Collect supportive evidence; and
- Chart a personalized plan of action for the best possible outcome.
Our attorneys work together on each case we accept, providing effective representation and twice the legal advocacy. Depending on your particular circumstances, we might work towards obtaining a dismissal, acceptance into an intervention program, a plea bargain, or reduced charges.
Get a Free Consult with a Restraining Order Violation Lawyer in Bradenton.
Protect your future, freedom, and reputation. Call us to speak with one of our injunction violation attorneys about your case. After reviewing the facts of your situation, we will explain your legal options, answer any questions you have, and tell you what steps to take next if you wish to retain us.