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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / There Is A Domestic Violence Injunction Against Me – Now What?

There Is A Domestic Violence Injunction Against Me – Now What?


When a domestic dispute happens in the state of Florida, the alleged victim has the right to seek what is known as a domestic violence injunction (DVI) – essentially a specialized restraining order. They can do so very quickly – a temporary or ex parte injunction can be awarded even without hearing your side of the story. This can come as an unpleasant shock, particularly if no arrests were made. However, it is crucial that you understand what having a DVI against you means, and the potential consequences of breaching its rules. A knowledgeable attorney can help answer any questions.

Injunctions Can Be Granted Quickly

In Florida, any person who has been a past victim of domestic violence, or who has “reasonable cause to believe” that they are in imminent danger of becoming one, has the right to file for a DVI in the district court nearest them. They do not have to engage an attorney in order to file, though it is generally a good idea for them to have one – and if you are then served with a DVI against you, hiring your own attorney should be one of your first steps. Temporary orders tend to last weeks or months, but a hearing will then be held to determine whether the DVI should become permanent.

While the strictures imposed by a DVI will vary from case to case, there are multiple potential requirements by which you may be required to abide. For example, a DVI may require that you leave a marital or otherwise shared home, wanting to impose distance between you and your alleged victim. Another common restriction, though not uniform, is requiring a respondent to surrender any firearms or ammunition they might possess. While this can seem unfair, it is crucial that you comply with these requirements.

Do Not Violate A DVI

For various reasons, there is always a percentage of people who try to evade or otherwise ignore injunctions – and it is never a good idea. Violating a domestic violence injunction is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, plus a $1,000 fine and assorted costs. However, it is important to keep in mind that if you violate a DVI while committing a separate crime, you may face even harsher penalties.

For example, a DVI may require a person to refrain from contacting their alleged victim. If that person then makes threatening phone calls or refuses to leave their shared home, they may then be charged with stalking – which would be considered a violation of the injunction, even though they never initiated physical contact or violence. It is better to simply avoid your alleged victim until the legal system has settled the issue.

Call A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney

If you have been served with a DVI, it can feel like a complete shock, particularly in situations where both parties acted aggressively. However, it is crucial to comply with its requirements, and it is a good idea to enlist an attorney who can help guide you through the legal process to come. A West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney from Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help to protect your rights. Call our office today to speak to an attorney.



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