Sarasota Restraining Order Lawyer
In Florida, Injunctions, also commonly referred to as “restraining orders” are court orders for protection against violence or harassment.
Simply stated, the Florida Injunction order tells someone not to touch, contact, or otherwise communicate with a specific person.
Parties to a Florida Restraining Order
There are usually two parties in a Florida Injunction:
The petitioner is the victim who files the injunction. The respondent is the person that the petitioner is trying to enjoin.
The Five Types of Florida Injunctions
The five types of Florida injunctions for protection are:
- Domestic Violence
- Dating Violence
- Repeat Violence
- Sexual Violence
- Stalking (including cyberstalking)
It is important to realize that violating an injunction can be very serious. Not only can a court hold the respondent in contempt, but the Office of the State Attorney could also file criminal charges with a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment!
What is the Injunction Process in Florida?
In Florida, the injunction process begins by filing a petition. The petition must be sworn testimony. Meaning, the petitioner must swear or affirm that the facts stated in the injunction are true. The petition must then be notarized.
Most can be filed on-line using forms found at the clerk of court’s website (Sarasota Clerk of Court; Manatee Clerk of Court). The clerks will also assist filers fill out the forms.
Filing The petition starts the process. If the petition meets certain criteria, then the judge will usually issue a temporary injunction.
For instance, a judge will enter an order of injunction if he or she determines that domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or sexual violence has occurred. The judge uses the “clear and convincing” evidence standard.
Clear and convincing evidence standard means that the evidence presented is highly and substantially more probable to be true than not. Since the judge must find clear and convincing evidence, a well written petition that clearly sets out the important facts is crucial.
Temporary Restraining Order Granted
A hearing is set whether or not the court grants a temporary order. The main purpose of the hearing is presenting evidence and testimony to establish the grounds for an injunction. This hearing is the opportunity for the respondent to answer the petition.
Usually, the hearing for final injunction is within 15 days from the date of the temporary injunction. This allows time for the respondent to receive service of the petition. But the temporary injunction will remain in place until the hearing.
At the final hearing, the judge will hear from the witnesses and accept any evidence you may have for consideration.
Do I need a Sarasota Restraining Order Lawyer Like Michael Fayard for this Hearing?
Some people attempt to represent themselves, either as petitioners or respondents. These are known as pro-se litigants. It is generally a bad idea to attempt to handle a Florida injunction hearing pro se. As a respondent, losing an injunction hearing can drastically limit your rights, including the right to own and possess firearms and ammunition.
Additionally, a Florida injunction hearing deals with the presentment of witnesses and evidence. A skilled Sarasota restraining order lawyer like Michael Fayard, can help you with prosecuting or defending the case.
For instance, a Sarasota restraining order lawyer will know how to issue subpoenas, question the witnesses, and make objections more effectively than most pro-se litigants.
A skilled Sarasota Restraining order attorney can increase the chances of successfully prosecuting or defending a Florida Restraining Order.
How Long does a Florida Temporary Injunction Last?
Typically, fifteen days. However, the period can be extended if the respondent is incarcerated, if the respondent has not been properly served, or if other evidence is unavailable.
The Court Granted A Final Injunction. Now What?
Most people do not realize the seriousness of a temporary or final injunction.
You cannot seal or expunge Florida Injunctions.
Also, injunctions are public record. As a public record, many third-party websites publish filing of Florida injunctions. Employers routinely check these third-party websites, which could interfere with job offers.
Injunctions can have wide ranging effects on other court proceedings such as custody disputes, alimony or child support. In custody dispute, an injunction is an important factor in the decision as to who will be the primary caregiver for the child.
Firearms Must Be Surrendered after a Florida Restraining Order is Entered
Another serious consequence is your potential loss of your Second Amendment rights. When granted, a Respondent must immediately surrender any and all firearms to local law enforcement. The firearm restrictions last for the entire duration that the injunction is in place!
You must file a Motion to have your Firearms Returned. But Sarasota Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Fayard can make this difficult process easier.
Finally, and as unfortunate as it may be, some petitioners use Florida injunctions as a weapon.
For example, if a petitioner sees the respondent in a grocery store or at a baseball game, the petitioner can claim that the respondent violated the injunction, although the respondent did not know the petitioner was even present! This is a recurring theme that my firm has seen time and again, especially in divorce cases.
If you are facing a Florida Injunction, please CONTACT ME immediately for a
How long does a Final Florida Injunction Last?
Generally, there is no set time limit for a final injunction. A final injunction is also referred to as a permanent injunction. However, since relationships and circumstances change over time, the courts may enter a one-year or a five-year injunction. And a final Florida injunction can be renewed or dissolved at any time prior to the expiration.
Why Do I Need to Contact Attorney Michael Fayard?
As stated before, it is a serious mistake to represent yourself either as a petitioner or respondent. Although many people agree to stay away from each other, the respondent needs advice and counsel of the ramifications of such an agreement. On the other hand, a petitioner should have the advice of an attorney in filling out the petition and obtaining the evidence necessary to prove the case.
What Happens if I am Accused of Violating a Florida Restraining Order?
A person can violate a Florida Injunction in several ways. The most common are:
- Refusing to vacate a residence
- Going to the petitioner’s residence, school or place of employment
- Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner directly or indirectly
If you violate one of the conditions above, or other conditions stated in the injunction, you could face criminal charges. Depending on the severity or the frequency, you could face a felony and be subject to five-years in prison!
If you have any questions, whether you are a petitioner or a respondent, please CONTACT ME for a FREE CONSULTATION
I have helped thousands of clients get their best results. I can help you too. Contact me with any questions you may have. The call is always Free.