Protective orders, commonly called restraining orders, are put in place if the court believes that an individual may endanger, threaten, or harass another party. These orders generally prevent any form of contact or communication between the two parties involved.
There are serious repercussions of violating a protective or restraining order in West Palm Beach. Anyone who believes the may have violated an order should contact a diligent domestic violence defense Attorney. Our lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert could help you understand a restraining order, what violations could have occurred, and how to potentially avoid or mitigate the damage caused by an accusation.
Violation of a Domestic Violence Protective Order
Violating a protective order, commonly called a restraining order, is outlawed underneath Florida Statute Section 741.31. Those who have the order could bring forth accusations against the alleged violator in two different ways. A petitioner, or the person who carries the protective order, could contact the clerk of courts in West Palm Beach or where the violation allegedly occurred. After filling out forms, an investigation could take place to determine the facts of the alleged violation.
Individuals who have been charged with violating a protective order may be unaware of how their actions were considered a violation. Those who are unsure may wish to consult with a Defense Attorney to discuss their situation.
Commonly violations that could lead to repercussions in West Palm Beach include:
- Violent threats toward the petitioner
- Direct contact, or contact through a third party
- Staying in a shared home
- Distance order violations for vehicles or places frequented
- Property destruction
- Firearm or weapon possession, if prohibited
Generally, a first violation will be charged as a Misdemeanor in the First Degree. However, certain circumstances could lead to additional charges or more serious criminal charges.
Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order
First violations of protective orders may lead to a prison sentence of up to one year, a maximum fine of $1,000, or both. Depending on the situation, the court may potentially order the Defendant attend a domestic violence program or reimburse court and attorney fees.
Multiple violations could elevate a charge. Frequent offenders may be found guilty of a Third-Degree Felony. This is a more serious charge – anyone convicted may face up to five years in prison, a fine of up $5,000, or both.
Violations could have an impact outside of criminal court. They may influence custody disputes or could be grounds for a final protective order. This order could be permanent. It may bar individuals from possessing firearms or freely traveling around their community. The penalties for violating a protective or restraining order in West Palm Beach are severe, therefore, a defendant may want to obtain a dedicated criminal defense attorney.
Fight the Repercussions of Violating a Protective Order in West Palm Beach
The court expects someone to follow any protective orders issued. However, you may violate a protective order without being aware. If you were accused of violating a protective or restraining order in West Palm Beach, you may wish to speak with an attorney at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert. We could provide a free case review to help you understand what a protective order says, potential violations, and methods to protect yourself. If you are unsure of any violations, reach out to our offices and discuss your situation during an initial consultation.