What is the Penalty for Violation of a Restraining Order in Florida

Jan 26, 2020
Criminal Defense


Welcome to John Hugh Shannon, your trusted source for legal advice in Florida. Our team of experts specializes in various legal matters, including restraining orders. In this article, we will discuss the penalties associated with violating a restraining order in Florida. Understanding these consequences is crucial if you or someone you know is facing this situation.

What is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order, also known as an injunction for protection against domestic violence, is a court order designed to protect victims of abuse or harassment. It legally prevents the perpetrator from making any contact or coming within a certain distance of the victim. Violating a restraining order is a serious offense with severe consequences under Florida law.

Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order

In Florida, violating a restraining order can result in both criminal and civil penalties. The exact consequences depend on the nature and severity of the violation, as well as the defendant's previous criminal history. Let's explore some of the potential penalties:

Criminal Penalties

If found guilty of violating a restraining order, the defendant may face the following criminal penalties:

  • Fines: Violating a restraining order can result in fines ranging from $500 to $1,000 or more. The exact amount depends on the circumstances surrounding the violation.
  • Probation: The court may impose probation as part of the sentence, requiring the defendant to comply with specific conditions, such as attending counseling or avoiding contact with the victim.
  • Jail or Prison Time: Violating a restraining order can lead to imprisonment for up to one year or more, depending on the severity of the offense and the defendant's criminal history.

Civil Penalties

In addition to criminal consequences, violating a restraining order can also result in civil penalties. These penalties may include:

  • Contempt of Court: The court may hold the violator in contempt, which can result in fines, community service, or even incarceration.
  • Extension of Restraining Order: The court may extend the duration of the restraining order, prolonging the restrictions placed on the violator.
  • Loss of Custody or Visitation Rights: If the restraining order is related to a child custody case, the violator may face the loss of custody or visitation rights.

Legal Defenses

If you have been accused of violating a restraining order, it is crucial to seek legal representation immediately. A skilled attorney can help you build a strong defense and protect your rights. Possible defense strategies for restraining order violations may include:

  • Lack of Knowledge: If the defendant was unaware of the existence or terms of the restraining order, it may be a valid defense.
  • False Allegations: If the alleged violation is based on false accusations, proving the lack of merit can be a defense strategy.
  • Consent: If the victim gave consent to the defendant's actions, it may be a valid defense against the violation claims.
  • Violation Due to Emergency: In certain emergency situations where contact or proximity was necessary to prevent harm to the victim or others, a defense could be established.

Consult John Hugh Shannon for Expert Legal Advice

Dealing with issues related to restraining orders requires comprehensive knowledge of Florida law. At John Hugh Shannon, we have a team of experienced attorneys who specialize in handling restraining order cases. We understand the seriousness of these situations and are committed to providing you with expert legal advice and representation.

If you are facing charges for violating a restraining order or need assistance with any other legal matter, contact our firm today. We offer personalized solutions tailored to your specific needs. Protect your rights and seek professional guidance from John Hugh Shannon.

Mike Elsesser
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Oct 30, 2023
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Feb 24, 2021
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Apr 13, 2020
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Feb 14, 2020