1st Dec 2016
The length of an injunction will vary from one case to another. However, under Florida Statute 784.046(7)(c), a Circuit Court Judge can order that an injunction remain in full force and effect permanently. This could mean that the injunction will last forever unless it is modified or dissolved by the issuing court. Although either person may ask the court to modify or dissolve the injunction, neither party may change the terms of the injunction without obtaining the permission of the court first. We can set a hearing and go before the judge in order to petition the Court to dissolve the injunction. This preemptive action could protect you from re-arrest for violation of injunction in the future. There are many factors that could cause a court to believe that an protective injunction is no longer necessary or warranted. In particular, a showing that there has been a “change in circumstances” since the injunction was issued, can be persuasive. This may include, for example, the fact that one party has moved from the local area, a desire to reconcile on the part of the petitioner, or that an extended period of time that has elapsed since the injunction was granted.
What If the Other Person Wants Contact?
Many people make the mistake of assuming that the person who obtains an injunction also has the power to waive the terms of the injunction on their own without ever going to court. This is not true! An injunction, once granted, must be modified through a court hearing before a Judge. Even though the person who has been granted the injunction may have forgiven you and sought out contact with you, the violation of the terms of the injunction may still result in a criminal charge against you. You should know that Florida Statute 784.046(13) gives law enforcement the discretion to arrest and charge you for a violation of an injunction regardless of the “victim’s” consent to contact. Therefore, the permission of the “victim” alone will not stop the police from arresting you for a violation of the injunction.
In order to effectively dissolve an injunction it is necessary to have your lawyer set a hearing before the appropriate Judge and give notice to all the parties involved. During the hearing the judge will make an inquiry in order to determine whether lifting the injunction is in the best interests of the State and the parties. Given the wishes of the other party to resume contact with you, there is a great likelihood can be convinced to dissolve the injunction.
What if the Other Person Initiates Contact?
Even if the other person initiates contact with you after you have been served with the injunction, this contact on their part does not void the binding effect of the original injunction. Efforts at reconciliation on the part of the Petitioner can be dangerous as they could subject you to arrest for violation of the injunction. Keep in mind that only the judge can dismiss the injunction. If law enforcement observes a violation of the injunction, you are still subject to arrest, regardless of the fact that contact was initiated by the other party. South Florida/Miami-Dade County/Broward County Attorney SCOTT B. SAUL Saul can assist in petitioning the court for a dismissal of the injunction.
However, if you’ve been arrested for violation of an injunction, I can help. My office can bring the petitioner’s conduct to the attention of the Prosecuting Office and judge. This strategy, if handled in a diplomatic fashion, could go a long way toward minimizing your exposure to criminal penalties associated with the alleged violation of the court order.
Violation of Injunction – Penalties — Fines, Jail, & Anger Management Counseling
In Florida, a violation of injunction is a first-degree misdemeanor. The maximum possible penalty carries up to a $1,000.00 fine and as much as 365 days in the Pinellas County Jail. Violating an injunction is looked upon as a serious offense by the Court system. It is not unusual for the prosecutor to view a violation of injunction as not just a crime against a particular victim, but also a crime against the peace and dignity of the State of Florida. The prosecutor will argue that your violation of the injunction demonstrated a disregard for the law and a disregard for the authority of the Court to modify or restrict your behavior. Likewise, the Court will be concerned about the possibility that your continued violation of the injunction could lead to the commission of a violent crime. Accordingly, many Judges who are called on to impose a sentence in a Violation of Injunction case want to send a strong message that violating a court ordered injunction will not be tolerated.
If you are convicted of violating a domestic related injunction, the judge is mandated by Florida law to require you to attend a 26 week course of domestic violence counseling. This penalty can be waived, if the court is persuaded to make findings on the record that counseling is not necessary or appropriate in your case. My office can discuss with you the possibility of pursuing a waiver of this requirement.
Consider these Possible Solutions — Different Ways We May be Able to Help
As a highly experienced Miami-Dade/Broward/South Florida lawyer, I can examine the individual facts and circumstances of your case. There may be factual or legal defenses that can be raised. In other situations, I may uncover mitigating circumstances. This alternative strategy could have an impact in securing a favorable outcome designed to avoid a jail sentence in your case.