Violation of Domestic Violence Injunction

Just as in the situation that led to entry of a domestic violence injunction against you, allegations that you’ve violated a restraining order can be suspicious. Each criminal lawyer at The Mayberry Law Firm is familiar with allegations of this nature. Just as there is always the possibility that an ulterior motive is the catalyst for an individual seeking a restraining order, there is the same possibility when one levies an allegation that it’s been violated. In many circumstances a charge of his nature is based 100% on the assertion of the alleged victim that something violating the injunction occurred. Without any tangible proof to support this allegation, often our attorneys can impeach the alleged victim’s story, resulting in the State Attorney dropping the charges against you. Further, because of the nature of the crime, there must be some form of purposeful act on your part in order to violate the order. Simply showing up to the same place as the person holding the injunction against you often isn’t enough as it can be argued that your conduct was not purposeful or willful.

In order for the State Attorney to prove a violation of a restraining order charge against you, they must prove the following:

  1. A temporary or final injunction for protection against domestic violence was issued by a court against you
  2. You willfully, knowingly, intentionally or purposely violated the injunction in the fashion the State alleged.

So, as stated above, in order to be convicted of this kind of allegation the State carries the heavy burden of proving you did whatever they allege on purpose.

It’s important that you know an allegation of violation of a domestic violence injunction is not the same as an allegation that you’ve committed a domestic crime. Whereas an allegation of domestic violence requires an act of violence against a family or household member or former household member, an allegation of a violation of a restraining order simply means you are alleged to have purposefully contacted, in some fashion, an individual that already has an injunction against you. You need not commit an assault, battery or any of their more serious felony versions to be in violation of a domestic violence injunction.

HELPFUL ADVICE

We hope you choose to hire our Tampa criminal attorneys to represent your interests. Regardless, we believe the following can help you avoid a violation of a domestic violence injunction.

  1. Remove the injunction holder’s phone number from your cell phone. There is nothing wrong with writing the person’s number down on a piece of paper in the event you need it in the future if the injunction is extinguished. Accidental dials of that person’s number will be very difficult to explain and it’s not worth an arrest.
  2. Never allow a third party to contact the holder of the restraining order on your behalf. Indirect contact by a third party at your request is sufficient for the State to charge you with this crime.
  3. If a term of an injunction causes an inconvenience to you, do not ever agree without Court order to ignore that term in lieu of a more convenient method. The proper method to resolve your issue is by petitioning the court and stating your case.
  4. If there is an active order against you do not ever take a phone call, respond to a text or email, or reply to the attempt to contact you. The restraining order is against YOU, not them. They can call you if they want. If you answer, you are in violation of the Judge’s order and can be charged criminally.
  5. Monitor any group email or text string you generally participate in. Distribution of an online joke to several friends could lead to an arrest should the injunction holder remain on the email or text string.
  6. Though it may be inconvenient, consider changing your phone number, email address, and if you move, ask mutual friends not to give your address to the individual who sought the restraining order. All too often we’ve seen people continue to harass those they have the injunction against. Don’t set yourself up to react to their harassment out of emotion.
  7. If you happen to see the injunction holder out in public, remove yourself from that place, event, or situation. Yes, it’s inconvenient. No, it may not seem fair. At the end of the day both are better than an arrest.

Having a restraining order issued against you is never good. Being accused of violating that order is worse. If you or a loved one is facing an accusation of violating a domestic violence injunction, our attorneys are ready to help. Don’t delay, contact us today at 813-444-7435.