Types of Injunctions in Florida

How Many Kinds of Injunctions are Available in FL?

An injunction, commonly called a restraining order, is a court order filed by victims of abuse (petitioners) against their alleged abusers (respondents). As a result, it can be easy for respondents to feel like they’re facing criminal charges rather than a court order. This is because most injunctions in Florida restrict all forms of contact between the victim and their reported abuser and impose rules on the alleged abuser’s actions, behaviors, and whereabouts, making injunctions feel like criminal charges rather than court orders.

Each type of injunction in Florida provides different types of protection against different types of violence. However, Florida courts describe the similarities between the different types of injunctions to include:

  • The victim is the petitioner, the other party is the respondent.
  • The petition must be sworn.
  • The judge may issue a temporary injunction to the petitioner before a hearing is held.
  • The temporary injunction stays in effect until a hearing with both parties can be held.
  • The temporary injunction must be served on the respondent (usually by the Sheriff).
  • A hearing may still be held even if there is no temporary injunction.
  • The respondent must be given notice of any hearing.
  • Each party may bring witnesses to testify for them at the hearing.
  • The judge may issue a final, or permanent injunction after a hearing with both parties.
  • Unless it is for a certain time, an injunction stays in effect until the court changes it.
  • There are penalties if the respondent violates the injunction.

With this in mind, let’s discuss the five different types of injunctions that an alleged victim may file against you. They include:

Domestic Violence: To qualify for a domestic violence injunction, the petitioner must have reasonable cause to believe they are a domestic violence victim or in imminent danger of becoming one. Petitioners must be current or former family or household members with the respondent, who are their alleged abusers, unless both parties have a child together. If granted, a domestic violence injunction will have the following effects:

  • Protects victims and/or children from violence or contact
  • Requires you to leave your residence if you live with the alleged victim
  • Prohibits you from entering the petitioner’s residence
  • Allows the alleged victim to have full, temporary custody of the kids and receive temporary child support
  • May require you to surrender your guns and ammunition (for temporary injunctions only)
  • Requires you to surrender guns and ammunition (for permanent injunctions only)
  • May require you to attend a Batterers’ Intervention Program (BIP).

Sexual Violence: Sexual battery, lewd and lascivious acts, luring or enticing a child, sexual performance by a child, and any other forcible felony where a sexual act is committed or attempted is grounds for a sexual violence injunction. Victims and parents or guardians of minor children may file a petition. If a judge grants a sexual violence injunction, it could have the following impacts:

  • Requires the alleged victim to cooperate with law enforcement after reporting sexual violence
  • If you were jailed for sexual violence against the petitioner and your prison term has expired or will expire within 90 days, a petitioner can get a sexual violence injunction against you
  • Protects adults and minor children from further violence or contact
  • May require you to surrender guns and ammunition

Dating Violence: To get a dating violence injunction in Florida, the petitioner and respondent must have had a dating relationship within the past 6 months. But not just any dating relationship. It must have been characterized by the expectation of affection, not just a casual relationship. To get this type of injunction, the petitioner must show one of the following:

  • They are a victim of dating violence who has a reasonable fear that they are in immediate danger of becoming a victim again
  • They reasonably believe that they are in immediate danger of becoming a victim of dating violence

Repeat Violence: Florida law defines “repeat violence” as two incidents of violence or stalking by the abuser, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition. Victims and parents or guardians of minor children living at home may file a repeat violence petition in Florida only if they truly fear repeated violence from you. Once granted, this type of injunction will:

  • Protect adults and minor children from further violence or contact
  • Possibly require you to surrender your guns and ammunition

Stalking/Cyberstalking: Victims and parents or guardians of minor children living at home may file a repeat violence petition only if there have been at least two incidents of stalking or cyberstalking. If granted, the following will occur:

  • May require you to get treatment on your own dime
  • Protects adults and minor children from further stalking or cyberstalking
  • May require you to surrender your guns and ammunition (for temporary injunctions only)
  • Requires you to surrender guns and ammunition (for permanent injunctions only)

As you can see, an injunction can take a toll on your day-to-day life. Living with tight restrictions is like walking on eggshells, and that could become your reality if a person gets an injunction against you. Your Second Amendment rights could be limited, your living situation may turn into chaos, and you could lose valuable time with your kids and instead pay child support for a while. Not to mention, other consequences of an injunction include:

  • It appears on your public record, affecting your ability to get a job, apply for a loan, and find housing
  • Criminal charges could be filed against you, resulting in jail time, fines, and a criminal record upon conviction
  • You may permanently lose your right to have a firearm or ammunition
  • Potential deportation if you are not a US citizen

At The Law Office of David A. Webster, P.A., your problems become our problems, and we will go above and beyond to find legal solutions for them. For more information, please contact us at (407) 326-0650!