If you have been served with a protective order due to allegations of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, repeat violence or stalking, it is best to seek skilled domestic violence attorneys as right away. In fact, the early involvement of an experienced lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of a protective order hearing.
West Palm Beach protective order lawyers can help you mount a defense against any criminal charges stemming from allegations of violence and provide experienced representation at your hearing.
What is a Protective Order?
An injunction is a court order, which requires a particular person to continue or stop doing a specific action. A protective order, sometimes called a restraining order, is a type of civil injunction intended to guard against or prevent further abuse or violence by a particular person called the respondent.
Courts have broad discretion in creating the terms of the protective order and may grant such relief as the judge deems necessary. Our West Palm Beach lawyers often see protective orders issued when an individual has committed acts of violence against the petitioner or placed the petitioner in fear of imminent harm.
Florida has five main types of protective orders–domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, stalking, and repeat violence. The requirements for obtaining an injunction for protection varies depending on the petitioner’s relationship with the respondent and the nature of the threat.
Protective Order Process
The process of obtaining a protective order begins with the filing of a petition for the appropriate form of injunctive relief. Once the petition has been filed, the court will determine whether to issue or deny an ex parte temporary injunction depending on whether there is an appearance of imminent and present danger. If the judge grants a temporary injunction, a hearing will be set within 15 days and the respondent will be notified. Individuals should contact a West Palm Beach lawyer about their potential conditions and how protective orders may impact their future.
At the hearing for a protective order, the judge will determine whether to issue a permanent injunction and the respondent has the right to contest the allegations made by the petitioner. If the court decides to issue a protective order, the judge will place certain restrictions or conditions on the respondent. Some examples of common restrictions include, but are not limited to:
- Prohibiting respondent from contacting the petitioner (the person seeking the order)
- Ordering respondent to refrain from committing any acts of violence
- Awarding temporary custody of children to petitioner
- Awarding exclusive occupancy or use of home to petitioner
- Ordering respondent to surrender firearms
- Requiring respondent to attend counseling
Work with a West Palm Beach Protective Order Attorney
Although injunctions for protection are issued in a civil proceeding, a willful violation of an injunction is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. Furthermore, these injunctions are public record, which means they can be discovered by employers during a routine background check. A protective order may also adversely impact any pending divorce or custody proceeding.
The impact of a protective order can be felt for years to come. Knowledgeable attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights and fight for the most favorable result possible in your case. Contact West Palm Beach protective order lawyers to discuss the specific circumstances of your situation and available legal options.