What Should I Do If I Received A Florida Restraining Order?
It can be overwhelming to be served with paperwork regarding restraining orders and face allegations of domestic violence. Your initial reaction may be similar to others: How can a court issue an order of protection when I was never notified? The short answer is that the Florida domestic violence injunction statute provides for an emergency proceeding, in which the accuser can file a petition and obtain a restraining order without notifying you in advance. Then, your next thought will be figuring out what to do now that there is a legal case pending against you.
An order of protection is a serious matter, so it is critical to take prompt, appropriate action to protect your rights. Set aside frustration, anger, and emotion, and make it a priority to retain an Orlando, FL domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. You will need legal support from the earliest stages of the case, since you will get your day in court even after being denied for the first hearing. You should also consider a few tips on what to do about a domestic violence injunction.
Carefully Review the Paperwork: Depending on the circumstances, you might somewhat expect it or be entirely shocked by receiving a restraining order. You should read it carefully for details in two key areas:
- The domestic violence injunction will contain information on what you are either prohibited from doing or must do. For instance, you could be barred from communicating with the accuser and be forced to move from your residence.
- The order for protection will include the date for your next hearing, at which the judge will decide whether it is necessary to extend it.
Strictly Follow the Domestic Violence Injunction: As you review the list of prohibitions, keep in mind that there are penalties for violating the terms of the restraining order. If you do not comply, you could face charges for a First Degree Misdemeanor. A conviction could lead to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Avoid Social Media: An emergency order of protection can only be in effect for 15 days, and your hearing will be scheduled before it expires. During this time, before the hearing, it is smart to stay off social media. Your activities will be scrutinized by the other side, and the content you post could be detrimental to your case.
Prepare for the Next Hearing: Because the upcoming hearing is so important to defending your rights, you should do all you can to support the efforts of your attorney:
- Turn over all evidence that may be relevant, including communications from your accuser.
- Talk to any witnesses who might provide useful testimony in court.
- On the date of the hearing, dress professionally to make a positive impression.
Contact a Central Florida Domestic Violence Lawyer Right Away
You can count on Greater Orlando Family Law to represent your interests throughout the proceedings, so please contact our firm to discuss strategies for defending domestic violence allegations. You can call 407-377-6399 or visit our website to set up a consultation.