Have you recently had a restraining order taken out against you? Are you confused as to what this means for your life? Do you have concerns about how a restraining order impacts your relationship with your family?
If so, protecting yourself and challenging the restraining order allegations against you is essential. An experienced restraining order lawyer in Tampa, FL, may be able to help you protect your future and reputation. Contact Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A., to learn more about the best defense options for your case.
How Does a Restraining Order Work?
If you receive a restraining order, you should understand the terms to avoid a violation, which could lead to criminal charges.
Restraining orders can impose restrictions on one party concerning another. Many times, restraining orders prohibit you from being within a certain distance of another party, contacting another party, or doing certain activities that may threaten, intimidate, or harm another party.
Restraining orders are a type of injunction typically taken out by alleged victims of domestic violence. Ultimately, the goal of a restraining order is to prevent the alleged victim from being subject to physical bodily injury. Some situations where restraining orders could get issued include cases of:
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Child abuse
- Child endangerment
- Child neglect
Types of Restraining Orders in Florida
Multiple types of restraining orders could be issued in the state of Florida. The type of restraining order taken out against you will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the alleged crime you are being accused of committing. Examples of restraining orders you could have taken out against you include:
- Dating violence restraining orders are filed when someone involved in a romantic relationship makes allegations that their partner assaulted or physically harmed them
- Domestic violence restraining orders are filed when there are allegations of abuse between household or family members
- Sexual battery restraining orders are filed when an alleged victim makes accusations of sexual battery
- Repeat violence restraining orders are filed when someone accuses an individual of stalking or assault of the same person on two or more occasions
What Happens after a Restraining Order Is Filed?
After a restraining order has been filed, that does not mean it is permanent. The restraining order will be in place temporarily until your case is heard in a hearing before the judge. Here is what to expect after a restraining order is filed in Tampa, FL:
- The Petition is Filed – After the alleged victim has filed the restraining order petition, the judge will be responsible for reviewing the petition to determine whether a temporary injunction should be issued. If a temporary injunction is issued, a hearing will be scheduled within 15 days of the date the petition was filed with the Clerk’s Office.
- The Respondent Is Served – For the duration of the temporary injunction, you should be prepared to avoid contact with the alleged victim, maintain the specified distance, and follow any other required terms. The sheriff in the county where you reside will be responsible for serving you with the temporary injunction as soon as possible.
- The Judge Hears Your Case – The alleged victim in your case will be required to provide their testimony regarding the circumstances of the restraining order. You will also have the opportunity to refute any of the allegations made by the alleged victim in your case. Your attorney can gather the evidence needed to help prove the restraining order is unnecessary in your case.
- The Judge Makes a Decision – After both parties have had the opportunity to present their case, the judge will review the evidence and issue an order. If a permanent injunction is issued, you will be required to adhere to the terms or risk the severe penalties of a restraining order violation.
Penalties for Violating Florida Restraining Orders
If a restraining order is taken out against you in Tampa, FL, you must adhere to the terms implicitly. If you are accused of violating the terms of your restraining order, the penalties could be severe. Violating a restraining order is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. This means you could be fined up to $1,000 and face up to one year in county jail.
The penalties could be more severe depending on which type of restraining order you were charged with. For example, if you had an aggravated stalking restraining order taken out against you, and you are accused of violating this order, you could be ordered to spend up to 15 years in a Florida state prison and be ordered to pay fines as high as $5,000.
Challenging a Florida Restraining Order
If you are hoping to avoid the restrictions of a restraining order and the consequences of being found in violation of a restraining order, challenging the restraining order before it becomes permanent will be of utmost importance. Restraining orders are only permanent if the judge implements the order during your hearing.
Your restraining order lawyer in Tampa, FL, will be responsible for analyzing the circumstances of your case to determine how to clear your name of the allegations against you. Some evidence you may be able to introduce to challenge the restraining order taken out against you include:
- Statements from friends and family
- Testimony from bystanders and witnesses
- Expert testimony
- Forensic evidence
- Photos of the alleged victim’s injuries
- Video of the incident in question
Getting the restraining order dropped is critical. If you are accused of violating the terms of your restraining order, you could be facing criminal penalties. Working with the state’s prosecuting attorney may be in your best interests if this happens. You could potentially enter into a pretrial diversion program or plea agreement.
Get Help from a Restraining Order Lawyer in Florida Today
You should know your next steps when a restraining order has been taken out against you. Do not hesitate to contact Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A., when you need a reputable restraining order lawyer in Tampa, FL, to advocate for your liberties. Fill out our confidential contact form or call us at 813-258-4800 to schedule your initial consultation today.