Injunction Defense FAQ | Clearwater - Tampa

The court can address many things when issuing an injunction, such as custody of any minor children, temporary support, and visitation. Additionally, if an injunction is granted you will be unable to own or possess a firearm. You want to make sure you are fully aware of what is being sought and of all the consequences associated with an injunction being imposed.

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Here are some common questions that our firm receives from clients involved in Injunction Defense cases:

Can I fight an injunction?

Yes. You may object to a petition for an injunction. If you object to the petition the judge will proceed to a hearing. The Petitioner has the initial burden of proof to establish by a preponderance of the evidence why he or she is in fear. This is a lower standard than the burden in a criminal case which is beyond a reasonable doubt. You or your attorney may question the petitioner through a cross-examination. After the petitioner presents his or her case, you will have the opportunity to respond. The judge will decide based on the evidence presented as to whether the injunction should be put in place and if so, how long.

Should I get an injunction?

It depends. If you are in fear you should consider this as an option. If you are in fear and at risk of immediate harm, do not hesitate to call law enforcement. Typically, law enforcement officers will direct you to file a civil injunction if there is no immediate cause for an arrest.

How do I get an injunction?

The clerk's offices have the paperwork you need to start the process. If you are not comfortable filing this paperwork on your own behalf, do not hesitate to call our office. We can advise what paperwork to fill out and assist you with this process.

What type of injunction should I get?

There are different types of injunctions, depending on the relationship and the facts of your case. If you are unsure, contact the clerk's office or call to schedule an appointment so one of our injunction attorneys may assist you.

Can I own a gun if I have an injunction against me?

If you have an injunction currently in force against you for stalking, harassment or domestic violence, you may not own or possess a firearm.

How long will the injunction last?

The judge determines the length of an injunction. It may be from weeks to years and in rare occasions, an injunction may be permanent.

Can I go to jail if I violate an injunction?

Yes, you will go to jail if you violate an injunction for domestic violence. This is a criminal charge.

The victim keeps contacting me, can I go to jail?

Absolutely. Avoid all contact directly or indirectly. This is a common misconception. Often, the petitioner will call or text the respondent or the individual who has an injunction against them. If you respond or engage, you can and most likely will be arrested if a police report is filed. “She (or he) contacted me first” is not a defense to a criminal violation of an injunction.

Should I represent myself for an injunction hearing in court?

If you can hire an attorney, do so. Even if you do not wish to have contact with the individual who has filed for an injunction, it is best to contest these petitions. As previously explained, violations can lead to criminal charges.

What happens if I do not go to court?

If you are the petitioner and you do not go to court, the injunction will likely be immediately dismissed unless you have notified the court that you cannot come and you need a continuance. If the respondent does not appear, the petitioner typically wins, assuming the initial burden has been met through the written petition or oral presentation at the hearing.

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Powers Sellers & Finkelstein is committed to answering your questions about Criminal Defense law issues in Florida. We offer a free consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.