No-Contact Order in Florida
No contact orders, also referred to as restraining orders, are a remedy the courts offer to domestic violence victims and those who feel like they may be in danger of stalking, harassment, or physical harm. While you do not have to be charged with a crime to receive a no-contact order, if you violate that order, you can be arrested for a criminal offense.
With this in mind, if you are served, you should speak to a criminal defense attorney before you make a mistake that could violate your no-contact order. Orlando criminal defense attorney Rahul Parikh will protect your rights at your restraining order hearing. Additionally, he will represent you if you face charges for violation of a restraining order or any other charges related to the issuance of that restraining order.
No Contact Orders in Florida – Understanding the Basics
Florida statute 741.30 outlines the parameters and processes for domestic violence injunctions. A no-contact order is a court order that prohibits the respondent from having physical contact or communications with the petitioner — the person who is requesting the court order. In order to obtain a no-contact order, the petitioner will have to file it through the Clerk of the Courts. There is an additional form that the victim can fill out if they can’t afford the filing fees.
Circumstances Under Which the Court Will Approve an Injunction
The court is likely to approve the restraining order under the following circumstances:
- The petitioner is the alleged victim of domestic violence
- The petitioner feels that the respondent is likely to commit a future violent act
- The petitioner is the alleged victim of stalking
If the court deems that a no-contact order is appropriate, it will likely issue a temporary ex parte injunction, which will stay in effect for 15 days. Before the order expires, there will be a hearing under which a judge will review the reason for the issuance of the no-contact order and determine whether or not it should be made permanent. Only the court can extend or lift a restraining order.
Service of the Restraining
If the court decides to issue a no-contact order, they will notify the local sheriff’s department electronically, which will dispatch a deputy to serve the restraining order.
What the Order Prohibits
A no-contact order prohibits the respondent from:
- Direct or indirect contact with the victim, including third-person contact
- Residing in the same residence as the petitioner if they live together
- Committing violent acts against the petitioner
In addition, the police will confiscate your firearms and ammunition. Furthermore, if the judge issues a permanent restraining order, you will not be able to purchase firearms until the order is lifted.
While there are many names for no contact orders — domestic violence injunction, repeat violence injunction, restraining order — the end result is the same. If you resume contact while the order is in effect, it could have serious consequences. If you’re located in Orange County, FL, contact Parikh Law to discuss your rights.
Common Violations of Restraining Orders
Under Florida Law, if you are served with a no-contact order, and you’re accused by the alleged victim of violating it, it could result in a criminal case and jail — even if your attempt at communication wasn’t considered “violent contact.” Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:
- Attempting indirect contact – Having a third party contact the alleged victim or trying to leave messages through an open channel, like a group chat or a message board, can still be considered a violation.
- Showing up to places the petitioner frequents – You must stay clear of the alleged victim’s vicinity, particularly while a no-contact order is in force. If not, you could face charges for a violation of the injunction, which is a first-degree misdemeanor, or aggravated stalking, which is a third-degree felony.
- Responding to an invitation from the alleged victim – Some victims of violent crimes try to exact early revenge on the defendant by tricking them into violating a no-contact order. This can be particularly difficult to avoid when the alleged victim is a family member or household member or the parties have children in common. To avoid additional criminal charges and violating your pretrial release, stay within the parameters of the no-contact order even if the other person is sending you an invitation.
Penalties for Violating a No Contact Order in Florida
Violation of a protective order does not require you to commit an additional crime. Under Florida law, a violation just means you were not in compliance with the court order. If you have an underlying case that triggered the order or committed additional crimes during the violation, the penalties for those crimes can either run consecutively or concurrently. Here are the penalties for violation of a no-contact order:
- Violation of a No-Contact Order – Up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
Aggravated Stalking (This can be charged when the defendant stalks the victim while a restraining order is in place.) – Up to five years in jail, $5,000 in fines, and a felony record.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Restraining Orders
These are some of the most frequently asked questions by individuals who have been issued a no-contact order. Contact Parikh Law if you have questions about your case.
What types of charges might cause the court to issue no-contact orders?
A criminal court will usually issue a restraining order in domestic violence cases, especially if there is a fear of future violence.
When does the court make a temporary restraining order permanent?
Any time the courts anticipate future violence, they are likely to issue a permanent no-contact order. In criminal cases where the person accused is charged with sexual battery, sexual violence, domestic battery, dating violence, and other violent crimes, the courts are much more likely to make a temporary order permanent.
How does a no-contact order affect child visitation?
In some cases, no contact means that you may not be able to see your children until the order is modified or lifted. However, the courts usually make accommodations for parents to be able to see their children. This often involves calling the police to make the exchange or meeting at a police station.
What is the procedure to get a no-contact order lifted?
Only the court can lift a no-contact order. Your attorney will have to petition the court, which will then notify the victim. In some cases, the no-contact order can be lifted or modified, especially if the request comes from the alleged victim.
Do the police always charge stalking with a violation of a restraining order?
Stalking in Florida means a pattern of behaviors meant to intimidate or harm the victim. Just because a defendant violated a restraining order does not mean that they were stalking the victim since stalking requires a pattern of events, and violation of a court order only requires one event.
Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney for the Accused
If you’re the defendant of a criminal offense, like domestic battery, you may anticipate being reserved with a restraining order. If that’s the case, domestic violence attorney Rahul Parikh of Orlando, Florida can represent you throughout the entire process. Do not make the mistake of trying to talk to the alleged victim and possibly violating the very order you’re trying to get dismissed. Call Attorney Parikh today to fight your charges and possibly get your case dismissed.