A temporary restraining order (also known as a protective order) is issued by a court to protect persons from harassment, stalking, sexual assault, or domestic violence. While they serve a purpose to protect abuse victims from their abusers, some partners (often women) seek restraining orders against their spouse, ex spouse, or other romantic partner during rough patches in their relationship or when seeking divorce. Without requiring evidence of abuse, these orders are relatively easy to obtain, which is why you may be surprised to have one against you.
If you have a restraining order against you, it is understandable that you may have several questions. These top five Frequently Asked Questions about restraining orders should address your concerns. In the event that you have been accused of or arrested for assault or domestic violence, you should seek the legal counsel of a dedicated criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Who qualifies for a restraining order against them?
In Florida, protective orders may be issued against a family or household member should they commit a violent act against the family or household member seeking the order. Assault, battery, stalking, false imprisonment, stalking, sexual assault and domestic violence are all violent crimes for which a victim may obtain a temporary restraining order.
Former spouses, parents and children, blood relatives, couples living together or who have lived together in the past, and couples who share children regardless of whether they live together or ever did, all qualify as “family or household members.”
What does a restraining order do?
If you have a restraining order against you in Florida, a protective order is highly specific about what you can and cannot do around the person who received it.
Typically, if you are deemed “the abuser,” you cannot come within 500 feet of the “victim.” That means that you can be ordered to no longer have contact with the victim, whether at home or a place of work, or anywhere the victim is likely to be. Because they exist to protect victims of domestic violence, restraining orders can remove the abuser from the home they share even if the home is in the abuser’s name.
Even though you are removed from a home that may be under your name, you may be ordered to continue paying household bills. You may also be required to pay your ex spouse or partner’s attorney’s fees.
Does the restraining order appear on a criminal record?
Civil injunctions against you such as a restraining order do appear on a criminal background check.
How long does a restraining order last?
A temporary restraining order or TRO is a temporary form of protection. This is the first restraining order a victim can get, which lasts about 15 days before both of you must meet in court.
What do I do at an Order for Protection hearing?
This hearing allows you to do one of three things: 1) admit to allegations against you and be convicted of charges, 2) agree to the restraining order conviction but not admit to facts on the record, or 3) try the order for protection in front of a judge. For the best possible outcome, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney with experience handling TROs and domestic violence cases.
Find a Restraining Order Lawyer in West Palm Beach
If you need to fight an injunction, you do not have much time. At The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel, attorney Brian Gabriel has defended against injunctions such as temporary and permanent restraining orders for over 30 years. Call 561-622-5575 for a free consultation.