If law enforcement serves you with injunction papers, know that fighting a restraining order is possible. Hiring a criminal defense attorney in Florida, such as Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal, will yield the best results in court. Restraining orders require evidence, sworn testimony, and the corroboration of facts proving that you are a danger to the person filing, or that you are harassing or stalking them. Many times, individuals are unable to provide such evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced criminal defense lawyer like Mr. Shafran, will know just how to fight the accusations against you.
Know that in the state of Florida, the formal name for a restraining order is "injunction," and that you may also hear the term "order of protection." People often use the terms interchangeably. They all refer to the same thing: a court order that legally forbids you from having contact with another individual and/or their children.
What to Do If Someone Files an Injunction Against You
If you are fighting a restraining order, you may be wondering how a person filed one against you in the first place. To file for an injunction or order of protection, an individual must go to the courthouse and complete paperwork stating why they are seeking an order of protection.
If a judge grants a temporary restraining order, law enforcement must notify you as soon as possible. These restraining orders are typically valid for 15 days, and the courts will notify you of an official hearing date, at which you must appear.
Contact an Attorney Immediately
The first step in fighting a restraining order is to contact an attorney right away so that they can begin working on your case. You will have a chance at your hearing to present evidence in your defense, and an attorney will know precisely what you will need to best fight the injunction. Don't wait to contact a lawyer. The person who is petitioning against you is already working on their case.
Stay Away From the Person Filing for an Injunction
You may want to confront the individual filing for an order of protection, but do not do this. A judge may consider it to be a restraining order violation, for which law enforcement can arrest you. It will also hurt your chances of fighting a restraining order at your formal hearing.
Do not call the person, text the person, send an email, message them on social media, or attempt to connect with them through their family or a mutual friend. The individual and their lawyer may use all of these things against you at a later time.
What Evidence Is Necessary to Get a Restraining Order?
The person file a restraining order against you must provide evidence that they need legal protection. They must have documentation that proves you are a danger to them, that you are harassing them, or that you are stalking them. They may also file an injunction on behalf of their children or any minors for which they are legally responsible.
Evidence can include police reports that show a history of domestic or dating violence, sexual violence, other physical harm, as well as screenshots or phone records that prove harassment. A judge will typically issue a temporary restraining order.
When fighting a restraining order, know that at your court date, the other individual must prove that you are of imminent and present danger to either themselves or their children.
For this reason, hiring an attorney is crucial. They will help prove that you are no such threat.
Restraining Order Violation
If a judge approves a temporary injunction against you, you must abide by it whether or not you believe there are proper grounds for the restraining order.
If you do not abide by the temporary restraining order, police officers may arrest you on a restraining order violation.
Penalties of a Temporary Restraining Order Violation
If you do violate a temporary restraining order, a judge will charge you with a criminal offense. You may face up to a year in jail and have to pay hefty fines. Additionally, you will have significant problems fighting a restraining order at the hearing to determine whether or not the injunction will be permanent if you violate the temporary order. Follow all of your attorney's advice as soon as law enforcement serves you with an injunction to avoid getting a restraining order violation.
Fighting a Restraining Order
To take the proper steps when fighting a restraining order, consult with an attorney before you do anything. There are several essential things that you must do for the best outcome when your final hearing comes. You must act as quickly as possible, especially if it is your spouse or live-in partner who files for the order of protection. If a judge does grant the order, you may not be able to go home or see your children, so responding immediately with the help of an attorney is crucial.
Additionally, if someone files an injunction against you, you may have to relinquish your guns. You may have to avoid places where both you and the filing individual frequent (such as churches, schools, supermarkets, etc.). You may also have to alert your employer, which can have consequences at your job. An injunction can have a severe impact on your life. Contact a criminal defense attorney to respond on your behalf formally.
Attending a Formal Hearing
If a person files an injunction against you, a formal court date will be scheduled to determine further action. At this time, a judge will decide whether to drop the order of protection or make it permanent. You need an experienced lawyer fighting on your behalf.
Fighting a restraining order is a stressful time. As you may be facing the loss of custody of your children, your home, and a significant interruption to your daily activities, you need to present evidence proving you are not an imminent threat to the individual. A restraining order defense attorney will know just how to do this.
Make sure that you attend the formal hearing. If you do not appear, the judge may consider that an admission of guilt and the injunction may become permanent. You have every right to defend yourself against accusations and to have a lawyer present the best case possible.
Contact A Restraining Order Defense Attorney Today
If you are fighting a restraining order, contact criminal defense attorney Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal today. We will provide you with a free case evaluation with no obligation. Mr. Shafran will aggressively fight in court to prove your innocence and protect your rights.
Call 954-845-0505 for a free consultation.