The Violence Against Women Act is a federal law that requires every state to give full faith and credit to orders of protection against domestic violence issued by other states. In compliance with the Act, Florida created mandatory injunction forms that can be filed by alleged victims of domestic violence. These domestic violence injunctions, commonly called “restraining orders,” hold great power and carry serious consequences for people who violate their restrictions.
In this article, a defense attorney in Clearwater will discuss why it’s so important for individuals to comply with a domestic violence injunction. If you’ve been accused of violating a domestic violence injunction that was issued against you, it’s likely only the beginning of what could be a difficult process. For assistance navigating the court system, consult a Pinellas County domestic battery attorney with Russo Pelletier & Sullivan.
Violating a Domestic Violence Injunction
We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and you likely have a lot of emotions swirling around right now, but you must comply with an injunction for protection. Doing so is a first-degree misdemeanor and may subject you to significant penalties. Under Florida law, defendants can violate a domestic violence injunction by:
- Refusing to leave a shared residence
- Being within 500 feet of a location regularly frequented by a victim or named household member
- Making a threat of violence, by word, or act, against the victim
- Communicating with a victim in any way
- Being within 100 feet of a victim while they are in a moving vehicle
- Destroying the victim’s property
- Possessing firearms and ammunition
A Petition for Domestic Violence Injunction
Anyone who is an alleged victim of domestic violence or has cause to believe that they are in imminent danger of becoming a victim can file a petition for domestic violence injunction with the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court serving Pasco and Pinellas Counties. You should seek the advice of a Pinellas County domestic battery lawyer on how to best defend your case.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
In Florida, “It is the intent of the Legislature that domestic violence be treated as a criminal act rather than a private matter.” Although “innocent until proven guilty” is among our nation’s most valued legal principles, those who are accused of violating a domestic violence injunction in Florida may feel that the system is instead designed to require them to “prove their innocence” instead.
At Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan, we understand that it may feel like the outcome in your case is already set in stone, but that’s just not true. A Pinellas County domestic battery attorney can help you apply to a diversion program or work to have the severity of the charge in your case reduced. For a loyal team that will work to protect your rights, contact the Law Offices of Russo Pelletier & Sullivan.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.