Violation of Injunction for Protection
helps people defend against Violation of Injunction allegations
An injunction for protection against domestic violence or repeat violence can be obtained in civil court based on very little evidence. Judges tend to issue injunctions based on nothing more than the word of the Petitioner. Plainly stated, injunctions are not very hard to obtain. Once an injunction is obtained, it is a first degree misdemeanor to violate that injunction.
You can find the law relating to violating a Domestic Battery Injunction in Florida Statute 741.31(4)(a) and violating a Repeat Violence, Sexual Violence, or Dating Violence Injunction in Florida Statute 784.047.
In order to be guilty of violating an injunction, the state would have to prove:
1. An injunction for protection was issued by a court against you
2. You willfully violated the injunction.
Willfully = knowingly, intentionally and purposely.
Florida Statute 741.31(4)(a) enumerates the ways that a person can violate a Domestic Battery Injunction, which are almost identical to those in Florida Statute 784.047 for Repeat Violence, Sexual Violence or Dating Violence Injunctions. They are:
You also cannot possess a firearm or ammunition while an injunction is pending.
- Refusing to vacate the dwelling that the parties share
- Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner's residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member
- Committing an act of domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence against the Petitioner
- Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the Petitioner
- Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party
- Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner's motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied
- Defacing or destroying the Petitioner's personal property, including the petitioner's motor vehicle, or
- Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court.
The issuing judge of the injunction can also order you to enroll in and complete a batterer's intervention program. Failure to enroll or complete the program can also lead to a prosecution for violation of injunction.
In most violation of injunction cases, the issues are whether you actually committed the act you are being accused of and/or whether you committed the act willfully. For example, the Petitioner may accuse you of driving by her house multiple times. The question would become whether she has evidence that corroborates her accusation, like photographs, video, independent witnesses. The Petitioner may also accuse you of going to a store that you know the Petitioner goes to. You may live in the same area and have unintentionally been in the same place at the same time as the Petitioner. Therefore, the violation may not have been willful. Every case is different and the defense to each case may vary.
Can I still be arrested for Violation of an Injunction?
Absolutely! An injunction is a court order. The Petitioner does not have the authority to dissolve that court order without going to court and requesting the injunction be dismissed. Until a judge dismisses the injunction, you are bound by terms of that injunction.
SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON