Fort Lauderdale Defense Lawyer Explains Why You Should Contest a Domestic Violence Injunction

If you are arrested for domestic violence in Fort Lauderdale, you may also soon be served with a domestic violence injunction. We understand that you may not want anything to do with that person anymore anyway. You’ll gladly stay away – so why bother fighting back? Fort Lauderdale domestic violence defense lawyer

If you are the subject/respondent in that case, allowing an injunction to go unchallenged can have substantial consequences in your life. A few things to consider:

  • If a domestic violence injunction request is not contested, it will probably be granted.
  • Your movements will be restricted. You may be prohibited from being in certain places at certain times – and even accidental mistakes can have serious penalties.
  • A permanent domestic violence injunction will almost certainly have an impact on child custody. Even if you don’t lose parenting time rights, arrangements for pick ups and drop offs will inevitably be more complicated.
  • A domestic violence injunction will become part of the permanent record. Even though the proof burden is less for an injunction than it is a criminal conviction, it will stay on your permanent record all the same – will all the adverse affects that carries. It will impact your reputation, your financial situation, your relationships, your freedom, and your future. It could have negative implications in job searches, rental/housing agreements, and future romantic partners.

So as our Fort Lauderdale domestic violence defense lawyers can explain, not staying in contact with your accuser may be a great idea. But not fighting back against a domestic violence injunction is a bad one.

Types of Domestic Violence Injunctions

Domestic violence injunctions can be civil or criminal. As our Fort Lauderdale domestic violence defense lawyers can explain, F.S. 741.30 notes that domestic violence injunctions can be issued incidental to a criminal case or a person can request one even if no arrest as been made.

(Injunctions should not, however, be filed under Chapter 61, pursuant to divorce proceedings. That’s not to say divorcing couples can’t request a domestic violence injunction, but it’s not done through the Family Court. This was underscored in the 1991 Fla. 4th DCA case of Campbell v. Campbell and again in the 2000 Fla. 5th DCA case of Shaw-Messer v. Messer.)

F.S. 903.047(1)(b) grants criminal courts the authority to issue a no-contact order as a condition of pre-trial release in certain criminal cases. This is different than in injunction, which is issued in civil court at the request of the alleged victim. Although you technically can push back against a criminal no contact order, it’s often not work the risk. (They’re usually only lifted if the victim formally asks the court to do so AND agrees to fully cooperate with prosecutors and testify about what happened. That may not be in your best interests as a defendant.)

So for the most part, we’re talking here about fighting back against civil domestic violence injunctions. Protective injunctions in Florida can be issued not just for domestic violence, but also for sexual violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or stalking (including cyberstalking).

Impact of Domestic Violence Injunctions

Temporary injunctions go into effect right away and are good for 15 days. Judges will often hear the request ex parte, meaning they only hear one side of the story (not yours) before making a decision.

Final protection orders are not issued until the court holds a full hearing. At this hearing, the court will either dismiss the temporary injunction, extend the temporary injunction, or grant a permanent one.

Staying away from the other person is not the only requirement with full protection orders. If one against you is granted, you may be required to have zero contact with the alleged victim and/or their family members, forced to move out of your shared home, and stay at least 500 feet away from the alleged victim’s home, school, workplace, or even regular stores. You may also be denied unsupervised parenting time with your kids, be compelled to surrender all firearms and complete a domestic violence intervention course.

Final protection orders are usually not indefinite, but they can last a long time. Once they go into effect, they can only be modified or ended early with a court order.

If you are the respondent in this case, it’s not in your best interest to avoid pushback – because ultimately you’re the one who will be subject to a host of unpleasant (and possibly expensive) restrictions. Our dedicated Fort Lauderdale domestic violence defense attorneys can help you fight back against a reputation-wrecking domestic violence injunction.

Call Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:

Domestic Violence Overview, Updated 2020, Florida Courts

More Blog Entries:

Police in Florida Domestic Violence Cases Must Now Ask These 12 Questions, April 12, 2024, Fort Lauderdale Domestic Violence Injunction

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