Restraining orders are designed to stop an attacker from hurting one or several victims. While these injunctions can be effective in stopping various forms of abuse, they also lead to unfair restrictions that are imposed on those who have been wrongfully accused. If you have received a restraining order from the court, you may feel trapped. You may not be able to see your family or loved ones, and you may fear that you will violate the order in some way. In these situations, it is important to have an experienced Sarasota restraining order lawyer on your side.

Erika Valcarcel of Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. knows how frightening it can be to be accused of violating the terms of a restraining order. With years of experience as a defense attorney, she can use a number of techniques to prove that you are not ignoring court orders.

If you would like to discuss your charges further, call (941) 363-7900 for a free consultation with a Sarasota violent crimes lawyer.

Florida Restraining Orders

When a person believes that they or their children are in danger of physical or emotional abuse, they can request a restraining order. After deciding that the person qualifies for special protections, the court may impose certain restrictions. For example, you may not be able come within 1,000 feet of the individual who filed the restraining order. This individual can also gain exclusive rights to the use of your home if the they are your significant other.

There are several types of protective orders in the state of Florida, each covering a different type of violence. A court may grant a person the following types of protection through an injunction:

  • Domestic Violence Order- This restraining order is issued when the violence or abuse occurs between family members or other individuals that live together. This type of protective order can be filed as a result of threats, assault, battery, action of kidnapping, and other violent actions.
  • Sexual Violence Order- In Florida, individuals can be protected from a number of sexual acts. A court may afford certain protections in the event that sexual battery occurs. A protection order might also be ordered for enticing or forcing a child a child to engage in sexual acts.
  • Dating Violence Order- This order of protection may be issued when two people have been engaged in a significant and ongoing relationship. The relationship is determined to be serious if the relationship has existed within the last six months and involved sexual activity.
  • Repeat Violence Order- This type of protection only applies when there have been two instances of abuse. At least one act of violence must occur within six months of an original order being filed.
  • Restraining Order for Stalking– This type of protection order seeks to prevent repeated following, harassment, or cyberstalking of one person by another. Cyberstalking includes communication through words, images, or language through electronic mail or electronic communication. When this type of communication causes emotional distress and serves no legitimate purpose, it may constitute stalking or cyberstalking.

Restraining Order Violations

After a hearing during which it has been determined that the victim has been subjected to abuse, certain relief may be granted by the court. This can range from mental health evaluations for the offender to restrictions on proximity to the victim. Failing to comply with any of these conditions is labeled as contempt of court and will lead to serious consequences.

Examples of violating the terms of a restraining order include, but are not limited to:

  • Committing an act of violence once the court order has been issued
  • Attempting to enter property that has been temporarily granted to the victim
  • Failing to participate in court-mandated counseling or therapy
  • Calling the victim on the telephone or contacting them over the internet
  • Refusing to provide temporary support to the victim or their child
  • Making threats of violence towards the victim

Consequences for Violating a Restraining Order

The penalties assigned for violating these terms are merciless. In most cases, violating a protective order is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. However, the charge may be elevated to a felony if you are accused of committing another crime while violating the order. For example, if you commit battery against the victim after they file a restraining order against you, you could face massive fines and years in prison.

The penalties for a typical restraining order offense are:

  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Up to one year in jail

Defenses Against Violating a Restraining Order

If you are being accused of violating a restraining order, one of the most effective defenses is proving that the violation was unintentional. It might have been the case, for example, that you happened to be in the general vicinity of the individual who filed a restraining order against you. Or you might not have known where to go for your court-ordered counseling or therapy. According to state law, the court must provide you with locations for receiving these services. If they fail to do so, you may not have to face criminal consequences.

Contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. Today

Fighting a restraining order violation can be tricky. With the help of a Sarasota restraining order lawyer, however, it may be possible to prove that you are in the clear.

To find out how you can avoid additional penalties, call Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. at (941) 363-7900, today for a free and confidential consultation.