A constable is on your porch, handing you an envelope. It is a restraining order. After an alleged domestic violence incident, your family member went to the police to file one.

2019 Florida Statute 741.28 (2) explains that domestic violence is any type of stalking, assault, battery, kidnapping or false imprisonment resulting in death or physical injury caused by one family or household member upon another in the family or household.

The restraining order

A temporary restraining order or TRO is also known as a temporary injunction in Florida. The injunction is a legal document stopping the alleged abuser from committing specific actions. Injunctions are available for:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Dating violence
  • Repeat violence
  • Stalking

Temporary injunction and domestic violence

When concerning domestic violence, a family or household member may file a petition for a temporary injunction to protect himself or herself from the alleged abuser. The laws of Florida protect the victim even if he or she no longer lives in the home. A domestic violence injunction is for the following purposes:

  1. Keep the alleged offender from committing more acts of domestic violence
  2. Give temporary exclusive use of the home to the person who filed the petition
  3. Address issues about child custody and support
  4. Order the alleged abuser to take part in a batterer’s intervention program in addition to treatment and counseling

Violations and penalties

The victim can file an affidavit with the court if he or she believes the alleged abuser violated the injunction. Violations can include:

  • Refusing to leave the home
  • Contacting the victim
  • Destroying the victim’s personal property

Penalties for a violation begin with a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by as much as one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The most serious penalty is a third-degree felony with a punishment of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

An injunction issued in Florida is enforceable throughout the United States. Also, any protection order against domestic violence from another state is enforceable in Florida.

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