For Your Protection: Guide to Restraining Orders in Florida

Different types of restraining orders in Florida exist to protect people from violence and trauma. Whether you are experiencing verbal or physical abuse or other types of trauma, know that you shouldn’t have to deal with it one minute longer. A restraining order in Florida can protect you from a spouse, a partner, friend, or another individual that is causing harm. 

 

The Five Types of Restraining Orders in Florida

It is not uncommon to have questions about the different types of protection from abuse. Florida law can be complicated. The five types of restraining orders in Florida are, in legal terms, called injunctions. They are as follows:

  1. Domestic Violence — an injunction used if stalking or violence has occurred or if the person has reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent danger — from a spouse, former spouse, persons related by blood or marriage who are residing or have resided together as a family, or individuals who are living together or have lived together as if family, or individuals who have a child in common
  2. Repeat Violence — an injunction used if there have been two acts of stalking or violence on two different occasions, with one of them occurring in the last six months — from a person who is a non-domestic or non-dating relation such as a neighbor or co-worker
  3. Stalking Violence — an injunction used if a person is intentionally harassing or following you for no legitimate purpose over a period of time, causing emotional distress; if/when these actions become threatening to harm you or threaten your life physically, then the stalking is classified as “aggravated.”
  4. Sexual Violence — an injunction used if any one of the following criteria are met: (1) the violence was reported to law enforcement, and you are cooperating with criminal proceedings or (2) the offender was sentenced to prison, and the term has expired or is expiring within 90 days, and any one of the following has occurred (1) any forcible felony wherein a sexual act is attempted or committed (2) sexual battery (3) luring or enticing a child (4) lewd or lascivious act, committed in the presence of or upon a person younger than 16-years-old or (5) sexual performance by a child
  5. Dating Violence — an injunction used if stalking or violence has occurred, and the person has reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent danger — from a person (1) they have been dating within the last six months (2) they have had an affection for or expectation of a sexual relationship and (3) have been involved on a continuous basis over time — not including people who you have only fraternized within social or business contexts

The most important action here is to ensure that the proper type of restraining order in Florida is chosen and filed correctly. If this is not done, the judge could deny the petition for the injunction. Working with an experienced attorney is recommended to get the proper order of protections in Florida. 

 

What You Need to Know About Florida Self-Defense Laws…read more

 

Filing the Petition

Once the proper petition is filed, the judge will review it as quickly as possible. The petition should include as much detailed information as you can about the history of abuse/stalking, including severity and dates. The judge can then, if he/she deems appropriate, issue a temporary restraining order (injunction) to protect you prior to the hearing. According to Florida Statutes, a temporary injunction will last no longer than 15 days. The date of the hearing will be set when the temporary order is put in place.

What Happens at a Restraining Order Hearing?

what happens when you get a restraining order in Florida

At the hearing, the evidence will be presented on why the restraining order should be filed against the abuser, which is the most crucial aspect of the process. The respondent may or may not show up at the hearing, but if they do, they have the right to provide their evidence to counter your claims to have the restraining order put in place. 

The judge will consider all the evidence and then decide on whether to grant the final restraining order (injunction). If the order is granted, it will be more than 15 days and can give you even more protections than the original injunction. This final injunction may have a specific time period (such as one year), or it could have no expiration date. The injunction can be modified in the future if the judge decides it can be changed or dissolved.

An injunction is a civil matter, but if the abuser violates the order, then that would be considered a criminal act and would go on the person’s criminal record.  

 

Contact a Restraining Order & Injunctions Attorney

The different types of restraining orders in Florida are there exclusively for your safety and protection. If you have been enduring domestic violence, stalking, or other types of violence, know that you are not helpless, and you are not alone. A restraining order and injunctions attorney can help you make the best legal decisions moving forward so you can be legally protected and safe.

If there are children involved, a domestic violence injunction in Florida can help you to protect the family. You, and your children, deserve to be safe.