Being a victim of violence is a traumatizing experience, but when it happens again, the experience becomes even more emotionally draining. And if the perpetrator is the same, the distress becomes even greater. This is where repeat violence injunctions come into place. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about repeat violence injunctions, including typical limitations that constitute a violation.
What is a repeat violence injunction?
According to Florida Statute 784.046, violence is defined as any attack, battery, sexual battery, or stalking by a person against another person. If you or members of your immediate family have been the victim of repeated violence, you can ask the court for a protection order banning further violence.
A repeat violence injunction is a court order that can be used to protect a person who has been attacked by their partner or family member. This type of injunction is especially useful if the victim of the violence has already obtained an interim non-molestation order, which is designed to prevent further attacks while the victim applies for a full non-molestation order.
It restricts the perpetrator from contacting the victim and their children in any way, including by phone and social media. It can also prohibit them from going near their address or workplace, as well as entering designated areas, such as parks and shops.
Who can file for a repeat violence injunction?
You may request an injunction against someone who has committed at least two “acts of violence” against you or a member of your “immediate family,” one of which must have occurred within the past six months. You can only file on behalf of your minor child if he or she is still living at home and you are his or her parent or legal guardian.
You cannot seek an injunction against repeat violence if you share a kid with the abuser or if he or she is a family or household member. Instead, you would have to seek an injunction to protect yourself from domestic abuse.
What is the process for filing a petition?
The process for filing a petition for a repeat violence injunction begins with filing a petition where the petitioner resides. A petitioner must be at least 18 years old and can be of any gender. In addition, the petitioner must have had some sort of relationship with the respondent—whether it was romantic in nature or not—and must have suffered repeated acts of violence over time by that person.
The petition must include:
- The date, time, and place of each incident of violence
- The names of all parties involved in each incident
- A description of each incident, including physical injuries suffered
- The dates on which each incident occurred
What do you need to prove to get an injunction?
To obtain a repeat violence injunction, you will need to prove that there has been some kind of recent threat or act of violence by the other person. You will also need to provide evidence that this act was done in a way that could cause serious physical injury or death to you or someone else. If you can show that there’s been more than one incident of violence committed by this person, then it will make it easier for you to convince the court that you are in danger.
Typical Limitations that Constitute a Violation of Injunction
The person who is protected by the injunction may purposefully or unintentionally induce you to breach your injunction. There are several ways to violate an injunction.
According to Florida Statute 784.047, a person can breach an injunction in a variety of ways, including:
- Being within 100 feet of the petitioner’s vehicle, whether occupied or not;
- Being within 500 feet of the petitioner’s home, school, work, or any other location frequented by the protected person, their family, or a household member;
- Repeated acts of violence, sexual violence, or dating violence against the petitioner;
- Any other breach of the order, including an intended illegal threat, speech, or act of violence against the petitioner;
- Refusing to leave the parties’ shared residence;
- Refusing to surrender firearms and ammunition (if compelled to do so by the court);
- Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise interacting directly or indirectly with the petitioner unless the order authorizes indirect communication through a third party; or
- Vandalizing or damaging the protected person’s property, including his or her automobile.
As you can see, going to the neighborhood supermarket where the other person shops might inadvertently breach an injunction. If you broke the order many times, you might face charges of aggravated stalking, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
How Long Does a Repeat Violence Injunction Last?
A repeat violence injunction lasts for a period of up to 5 years. The court will decide how long it lasts based on the circumstances of your case.
When you apply for a repeat violence injunction, you will be given a date in court where you can make your case that the injunction should be extended.
If you want the injunction to be extended beyond 5 years, then you need to go back to court and make your case again.
Can You Fight the Injunction?
You can fight the injunction, but it’s not going to be easy.
If you are served with a repeat violence injunction, it means that your partner has applied to the court for an order which prevents you from doing certain things. For example, they might be asking the court to order you not to contact them or come within 100 meters of their home and workplace.
You have 14 days from when you get the injunction notice in which to apply to the court for permission to challenge it. If you don’t apply within this time limit, then the injunction will go into effect automatically. However, if you do apply and are successful in getting permission to challenge it, then the injunction will be withdrawn until a hearing takes place on its merits.
Contact A Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Ultimately, repeat violence injunctions can be a powerful tool for victims of domestic abuse, though not all cases are cut and dry. It depends on the specifics of the case—and, more specifically, how a judge sees merit in the arguments presented. But it’s good to know that there is ongoing legal work being done to assist victims of domestic abuse and prevent more serious acts from happening. That said, those in similar circumstances should never hesitate to seek help. At Hanlon Law, we are open to answering any concerns regarding repeat violence injunctions.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
600 Cleveland St #1100
Clearwater, FL 33755