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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / Florida May Consider “Hope Card” Program

Florida May Consider “Hope Card” Program


When a victim of domestic violence obtains an injunction (a DVI) against their abuser, it is with the intent that the injunction be read and honored – however, there are situations in which a physical copy of an injunction can be too long and cumbersome to keep on hand, and the DVI must be on hand in order for a law enforcement officer to make an arrest in the heat of the moment. The “Hope Card” program gives the holder of an injunction a small card with the information readily available in a more streamlined format.

Streamlining The Process Of Protection

A person who has either been the past victim of domestic violence, or has “reasonable cause to believe” they are in “imminent danger” of becoming a victim of domestic violence, may seek an injunction against their alleged abuser. A temporary or ex parte injunction can be granted without hearing both sides of the story, but a hearing must occur in order for the injunction to become permanent.

An injunction against domestic violence can be a weighty thing, being many pages long. It is intended to prevent an alleged abuser from even attempting any kind of violent action – but sometimes, if a violent action is already happening, law enforcement may find itself hamstrung because no proof of a DVI is immediately to hand. The Hope Card program seeks to remedy that, and keep more victims safer.

Positives & Negatives

A Hope Card, when granted to the recipient of a DVI, contains information about them and about their injunction, including crucial details like their case number and the judge in the case. Other U.S. states have already implemented the program as of this writing, including Virginia and Oregon. They either issue wallet-sized cards, or cards with QR codes containing all the relevant information digitally.

As of this writing, the bill to implement the Hope Card program in Florida is in committee, soon to be put to a floor vote in the Senate. While the potential sense of safety the measure may give domestic violence victims cannot be gainsaid, it is worth raising potential privacy concerns as well, particularly if the card is ever lost or stolen. Regardless, the legislature will have the ultimate decision.

Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney

While the Hope Card program may still have a long way before its initiative, domestic violence injunctions are still important documents that must be obeyed. Whether you have been charged with domestic violence or experienced it as a victim, a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney from Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can represent your interests. Contact our office today at (561) 721-0552 to speak to an attorney.

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