In the State of Florida, a protective order is an order intended to protect a person from violence, stalking or harassment by placing restrictions on the defendant. Among other things, a defendant subject to a protective order may be required to stay a certain distance from the victim, refrain from contacting the victim, or even give up their firearms.
To learn more about what to do when served with a protective order, get in touch with one of our knowledgeable Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert today. A Wellington protective order Lawyer could take the time to learn more about your case and inform you of your legal options.
Types of Protective Orders
Protective orders in Wellington could be served for a variety of different reasons:
- Domestic violence
- Dating violence
- Sexual violence
- Repeat violence
An injunction against domestic violence is applicable when the person who is stalking, harassing, or abusing is a family member or member of the victim’s household. Typically, a petitioner seeking a protective order against domestic violence is a spouse, but not always. This type of protective order could also be sought against a parent, a child, or even a roommate.
In addition to ordering the defendant to stay away and refrain from contacting the petitioner, a protective order against domestic violence may also include other relief. For example, the defendant may be required to vacate the residence the two parties share, pay support, or even attend counseling.
If a petitioner is dating or has dated someone who commits violence or stalking that causes the petitioner to believe they are in danger of becoming a victim, this constitutes dating violence. A person who has been subjected to dating violence may seek a dating violence protective order in the Wellington Courts.
Protective orders against dating violence are similar to domestic violence protective orders except that there is no requirement that the person against whom they are seeking a protective order be a family member or living in the victim’s household. Instead, the two parties must have been in a dating relationship within the past six months. Like domestic violence protective orders, dating violence protective orders may require the defendant to stay away from the petitioner and refrain from contact.
Under certain circumstances, a person who has been subjected to sexual violence may seek a protective order even if there is no dating or familial relationship between the two parties. A person could be served with a protective order for sexual violence when the alleged victim has reported the sexual violence and is cooperating in criminal proceedings against the defendant or when the perpetrator of sexual violence is in jail for sexual violence, but is due to be released within ninety days.
Repeat violence occurs when a person commits at least two incidences of violence or stalking against the victim or a family member of the victim within a six-month period. There is no requirement that the victim and the defendant have a relationship with one another.
There is no requirement that either party have an Attorney in order to pursue a protective order. However, the process can be daunting if they are unfamiliar with the Court system. Whether they are the victim of violence seeking a protective order or the person against whom a protective order has been sought, a protective order Attorney in Wellington can help individuals navigate the Court system and work to resolve the case in a favorable manner.
Consequences of Violating a Protective Order
When a person willfully violates a protective order in Florida, they could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor for the first offense, which carries a sentence of up to one year in prison. If they violate the order two or more times, they could be charged with a third-degree felony, which carries a prison term of up to five years. Examples of a violation of the protective order includes:
- Refusing to move out of the residence after being ordered to do so
- Violating the stay away order that requires the defendant to be at least 500 feet away from the victim at all times
- Going within 100 feet of the victim’s vehicle, even if the petitioner is not inside
- Committing an act of violence against or making threats against the victim
- Attempting to contact the victim or make threats through a third party
- Defacing or destroying property owned by the victim
- Refusing to surrender firearms after being ordered to do so by the Court
Schedule a Consultation with a Wellington Protective Order Attorney Today
If you have been issued a protective order, get in touch with an experienced Attorney at Leifert & Leifert today. A Wellington protective order Lawyer could take charge of your situation and fight to get the justice you deserve.