In our last post, we discussed how individuals who find themselves placed under arrest for domestic violence amidst the turmoil of an especially intense argument with a spouse or significant other frequently face almost immediate consequences, including being named in an order for protection.
Specifically, we discussed how Florida law allows domestic violence victims and those with reasonable cause to believe that they will become a victim of domestic violence to seek a temporary injunction. We’ll continue this discussion in today’s post, examining what exactly can happen if a person violates the terms of a temporary injunction.
It’s important for the person against whom a temporary injunction is granted — otherwise known as the respondent — to understand that they are prohibited from engaging in certain designated actions in relation to the petitioner, and that any failure to abide by these prohibitions will be treated as a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
These designated actions considered a violation of a temporary injunction include:
- Traveling to or being within 500 of the petitioner’s home, place of employment, school or other specified location at which the petitioner can be found on a regular basis
- Refusing to vacate a shared dwelling
- Committing another act against the petitioner that could be classified as domestic violence
- Making unlawful, intentional statements or actions threatening the petitioner with violence
- Damaging or destroying the personal property of the petitioner, including their vehicle
- Being within 100 feet of the petitioner’s vehicle (regardless of whether it’s occupied)
- Refusing to hand over firearms and/or ammunition to law enforcement
- Contacting the petitioner through the telephone or other mediums either directly or indirectly (unless third-party indirect communication is permitted under the terms of the temporary injunction)
Respondents must also be aware that they can be charged with the offense of aggravated stalking if the court finds that they “knowingly, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow[ed], harass[ed], or cyberstalk[ed]” the petitioner following the issuance of the temporary injunction. This is very serious, as aggravated stalking is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Given the personal and professional stakes involved, it’s imperative to consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible if you’ve been charged with domestic violence or violating a temporary injunction.