Violation of Domestic Violence Injunction
In Florida, the willful failure to comply with a domestic violence injunction may constitute a criminal offense. Defending against these accusations may help you to avoid a misdemeanor or felony conviction, as well as harsh penalties. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., we recognize that in some cases, noncompliance with a protection order was unintentional or initiated by the alleged victim. Our St. Petersburg domestic violence attorneys can work to ensure that the evidence in your case is presented fairly, and help you strive to minimize the consequences of a violation of an injunction against domestic violence.Violation of a Florida Domestic Violence Injunction
An injunction against domestic abuse is a type of restraining order issued by the courts to protect a person who is at risk of violence from another individual in their household. A domestic violence injunction is essentially a court order prohibiting an individual from committing acts of domestic violence. In Florida, domestic violence encompasses crimes such as stalking, sexual assault, battery, assault, kidnapping, and other acts by an individual that cause physical injury to their family or household member. A domestic violence injunction may also include other requirements that specifically address the circumstances of the parties involved.
Once a temporary or permanent injunction has been entered against the respondent, a violation of the protection order may constitute a Florida criminal offense. A person may be arrested for violating a domestic violence injunction if the police have probable cause to believe that they have committed an act of domestic violence against the person protected by the injunction. The defendant may face criminal charges for any domestic violence offenses, as well as a charge for the violation of an injunction.
A violation of a domestic violence injunction may be charged in situations where the defendant intentionally disobeyed the terms of the protective order. Florida law provides that it is a crime for a person to willfully violate an injunction for protection against domestic violence by any of the following:
- Refusing to vacate the parties’ shared home or residence;
- Coming within 500 feet of the petitioner’s home, work, school, or other specifically named place;
- Coming within 100 feet of the petitioner’s car;
- Destroying or damaging the petitioner’s personal property;
- Calling, contacting, or communicating with the petitioner, either directly or indirectly, unless the injunction expressly permits indirect contact through a third party;
- Threatening to commit violence against the petitioner;
- Having any firearm or ammunition in their care, custody, possession, or control
The court may address a violation of a domestic violence injunction through a civil or criminal contempt proceeding, or the state attorney may prosecute it as a criminal violation. To obtain a conviction, the prosecuting attorney must prove that an injunction for protection against domestic violence was entered against the defendant, and that the defendant willfully, knowingly, intentionally, or purposely violated the injunction.Penalties
A violation of a domestic violence injunction is generally a first degree misdemeanor. A violation may be charged as a third degree felony, however, if the defendant has at least two prior convictions for violating an order of protection against the same individual. In such cases, a conviction may carry more severe penalties, including a maximum jail sentence of one year or probation, and a $1,000 fine. If the court finds that the defendant willfully violated the domestic violence injunction, the defendant may also be ordered to attend a batterers’ intervention program.St. Petersburg Attorneys for Domestic Violence Charges
If you have been accused of violating a domestic violence injunction, you can fight against the allegations with the help of a St. Petersburg defense lawyer. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., we can assist people facing criminal charges for violating a protective order as well as respondents who have been served with a petition for a domestic violence injunction. Our dedicated attorneys represent individuals in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa Bay, and other locations throughout Pinellas County. To request a free consultation regarding a criminal matter, call Blake & Dorsten at (727) 286-6141 or submit our contact form online.