19th Jun 2018
Injunctions protect victims of domestic or sexual violence by forbidding the defendant from having direct contact with the alleged victim. However, it is the experience of many South Florida criminal defense attorneys to see these orders often used for improper purposes, such as to kick a person out of a shared residence, to gain an upper hand in a child custody matter or to prevent a parent from having access to his or her children. Individuals who are served with a petition for injunctions should seek assistance from an experienced South Florida criminal defense attorney.
After a petition is filed for a petition, the judge may grant a temporary injunction until the hearing is heard within fifteen days of the filing date. This window of time does not provide a lot of opportunity to build a defense, which is why it is critical to seek legal assistance immediately. Not fighting the injunction can result in many negative consequences, including:
- Being forced out of a shared home
- Losing access to your children
- Being prohibited from going to certain locations, including the homes of shared friends, churches or places of business
- Losing the right to access firearms
- Losing your job
- Being perceived in a negative light by the community
Once a criminal defense lawyer is retained for the defense against a petition for injunction, he or she can start gathering evidence, such as text messages, phone records, emails, social media posts and pictures. A criminal defense lawyer can also interview potential witnesses who may aid in the defense.
During the injunction hearing, a criminal defense lawyer also has the opportunity to cross-examine the person who petitioned for the injunction. He or she may ask about ulterior motives for filing the petition or about other ways that the victim may not be considered credible.