Navigating Restraining Orders and Protective Orders in Domestic Violence Cases

Domestic violence cases are quite complicated and can have many complex components that are difficult to understand, let alone navigate through. Two of the most complicated aspects of a domestic violence case are restraining orders and protective orders. If you have been unjustly served a restraining or protective order in Florida, you need to hire a highly-experienced, aggressive domestic violence defense lawyer in Tampa to defend you, protect your rights, and fight for your justice. 

The Rickman Law Firm has decades of experience in working with cases that involve restraining and protective orders. While protective and restraining orders are designed to protect alleged victims of domestic violence, they can have dire consequences for those who they are against and often result in false abuse allegations.

What Is Considered Domestic Violence in Florida?

In Florida, F.S. §741.28741.31 define domestic violence as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household by another family or household member,” where a family or household member is further defined as “spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together, ad persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married.” 

Simply put, domestic violence is an act of assault and criminal act against someone in your family or household. Some commonly tried acts that are considered domestic violence may include:

  • Physical violence and/or abuse
  • Sexual violence and/or abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Threatening abuse
  • Intimidation and isolation tactics meant to instill a power dynamic

Domestic violence can further be described in many cases as a pattern of abuse, abusive behaviors, and actions driven by a desire to instill and maintain an unfair power dynamic. In court, domestic violence is tricky to navigate and – due to the highly sensitive nature of the charge – is often more difficult for the defendant to work through, especially on their own. With the help of a Tampa domestic violence defense attorney, you can rest assured knowing that you will be properly guided through the contingencies and various elements of a domestic violence charge, especially when restraining orders and protective orders are introduced.

What Exactly Are Restraining and Protective Orders?

A restraining order is a legal court order and document that prohibits the accused individual from taking certain actions against the filer – including contacting, harassing, or coming within a specific, certain distance of them. They are designed to protect the filer from further abuse than claimed. A person can file for a specific restraining order based on the relationship that they have with the accused. 

The Florida court recognizes four orders of protection in domestic violence cases:

  1.  Domestic Violence, where the filer claims that they are in imminent danger from violent acts from a family or household member
  2. Repeat Violence, where there are two or more acts of stalking or violence that occur on two or more separate occasions, one of which must have occurred in the last six months, from someone who is not in a domestic or romantic relationship with the filer
  3. Sexual Violence, where the filer claims that they have experienced sexual batter, where there was any forcible sexual felony committed, whether criminal charges were filed, reduced, or dismissed by the state attorney. This includes sexual battery, a lewd or lascivious act committed upon or in the presence of a minor younger than 16 years of age, or sexual performance by a child
  4. Dating Violence, where the filer claims that they are in imminent danger from violent acts or stalking from someone with whom they had a relationship – whether romantic or sexual – in the last six months

A protective order is similar to a restraining order in that it is issued by a criminal court judge during a domestic violence case, however, it may include specific contingencies and interventions when issued. Some examples may include, but are not limited to:

  • Requiring the accused to give up their firearm to law enforcement
  • Requiring the accused to surrender parental rights
  • Mandatory attendance of counseling or an intervention program

A restraining order can last up to two years and may harbor severe consequences if there is a violation of the terms. This could include arrest or a more severe charge in the defendant’s case.

What Are Your Options When Faced With a Restraining Order or a Protective Order?

As a highly sensitive, highly legal matter, you need to be very strategic in taking steps if you have been served a restraining order or a protective order. Because these court orders restrict your rights and, if violated, can result in harsh sentencing or arrest, among other potential legal consequences. It is vital to hire a skilled Tampa domestic violence defense attorney to help you navigate protective and restraining orders. They will help you to either contest the order or successfully, effectively comply with the terms of the order. 

Your defense attorney will advise you to avoid any and all contact with the filer of the order. They will also advise you on how to behave to avoid any actions that may be perceived as violations of the court order.

Let The Rickman Law Firm Guide You Through Your Domestic Violence Case

When facing the serious legal documents of a protective or restraining order, you should not attempt to represent yourself or carry on with your life as normal. A Tampa domestic violence defense lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm will counsel you to avoid the long-term consequences of a domestic violence conviction or a protective or restraining order violation. They will build and present a strong defense for you and ensure that your rights are protected and justice is fought for.

If you or your loved one would like to learn more about Florida restraining orders, reach out to the experts at The Rickman Law Firm with your sex crime case, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact our office at any point by calling us at 813-999-0502 or fill out our consultation form for one of our attorneys to reach out to you soon. 

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.

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