Violation of injunction for protection against domestic violence is a crime under Florida statute 731.32(4)(a). For some, it seems ridiculous that an act as harmless as sending flowers or a text message could result in a person being arrested. However, this is the reality under Florida law, if there has been a valid injunction for protection against domestic violence put into place. Ordinarily, these protective orders have language that orders one person not to contact or come near another person.
As a Jacksonville lawyer, I’ve advocated on behalf of clients needing protection and on behalf of clients seeking to avoid an injunction against them. In some cases, the injunction was probably needed, while in other cases- not so much. If there is an injunction entered against you, whether you believe it is valid or not, you should follow the judge’s order not to contact the other person. Violation of an injunction for protection is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail or by probation up to one year. First degree misdemeanor criminal offenses, as here with injunction violations, can also be punished by fine.
The person who asks for or petitions the court for an injunction is called the petitioner. While the person who responds to the petition is called the respondent. Often, the respondent will be served with the initial temporary injunction and violate it immediately by calling or contacting the petitioner to find out what is going on. The temporary injunction is valid until a court has the ability to hear evidence and testimony from both sides. The testimony and evidence will be presented at a hearing. Based on the information provided, the judge will make a decision on whether the temporary injunction should be continued and made permanent or not.