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Restraining Order/Protective Order FAQs
Do protective orders actually protect the victim of domestic violence?
Protective orders are designed to protect the victims of domestic violence. It is an additional court order that will require an individual within 500 feet of that individual, to stay away from their home, to stay away from their business, to stay away from places they regularly go, like their employment, or like the gym, or like the store that they go to three times a week.
It can require them to seek counseling. It can require individuals to remain totally away from that individual, and then if they have any encounter that was not intended, that that individual must turn around and walk the opposite direction. Again, protective orders do protect those people that are the victims of domestic violence.
What is a restraining order?
A Restraining Order is really just another name for a Order of Protection. It is, again, keeping you or restraining you from being present with an individual, having contact with that individual, or being within a distance of that individual or places that that individual would routinely be at. In essence, it is the same thing as a Protective Order.
What is the penalty for violation of a restraining order in Florida?
Punishment for violation of restraining order in Florida depends upon the history that an individual has for domestic violence, and why that protective order comes about. I see a lot of times where an individual has been arrested for a domestic violence crime, they’ve been placed on a probationary period and that the victim will also have a protective order entered. Later during the probationary period there may be the allegation that there was some form of improper conduct or improper contact of the 2 individuals. Depending upon what level of contact and what that conduct was, the court from those pieces of evidence will determine what would be an appropriate punishment. I have seen where the court has not done much punishment at all, and I have seen where the court has just warned individuals “Don’t do it again,” and I have seen where courts have sentenced individuals to rather lengthy jail term sentences.
I have a protective order against my ex-husband, but he continues to call me and harass me. What can I do?
With a protective order, you can contact the local law enforcement agency, and they can enter a report. If they actually find a violation, in certain circumstances they can actually arrest the individual for those harassing phone calls. Law enforcement can be summoned to the home. They’ll look into their computers and request a certified copy of the protection order. They’ll verify it’s still in existence.
From there, they can issue different reports that can be turned into the state prosecutor’s office that can amount to another charge of violation of the protection order. In Florida, it can either have a new arrest, you can have a violation of the protective order, or you can work with law enforcement to try to see if they can kind of do a combination of the same, of those two elements, and have that individual arrested.
How can I get a protective order in Florida?
An individual that is wishing to receive a protective order from the court has to first make a proper application to the court and explain to the court the reasons and the urgencies why a court should enter an order of protection for that individual.
A lot of times we see these protective orders come about in domestic violence cases where there is a history of domestic violence, and an individual needs an extra protection order to be able to keep that other individual away. Courts will routinely enter that junction, and then within a reasonable period of time, set an evidentiary hearing so everybody can be heard and the court can gather even more evidence regarding the need for that protection.
In Florida, individuals have to file specialized petitions with the court to get that protective order.