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Protective Order Hearings

Protective Orders in Florida, also known as restraining orders, often arise from situations of alleged domestic violence. Sometimes protective orders will arise from false accusations, or situations that have spiraled out of control. The person requesting the protective order against you merely has to demonstrate that some kind of violence has occurred and it might occur again.

If you have been served with a petition for a protective order and fail to appear at the protective order hearing, the court will enter a default protective order against you simply because you never went to the hearing. The injunctions in the protective order will still apply to you, and you will be subject to criminal charges if you violate any of these injunctions.

Orlando Protective Order Hearing Defense Attorneys

If you have been served with a petition for a protective order in Orange County, contact the attorneys of Hale & Hale in Orlando, Florida. Maria D. Hale and Richard O. Hale are experienced attorneys who will analyze the particular facts of your case to represent your best interests in court. If you have been served in Florida with an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence, contact the law office of Hale & Hale at (407) 425-4640 for a consultation about your protective order hearing in Orlando.

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Terms to Know about Protective Orders

Common terms to know when dealing with a protective order and the protective order hearing process can include:

  • Domestic Violence occurs when a person commits any criminal offense against another family member.
  • A Petitioner is the person who filed for the protective order, or the person claiming they were a victim and need court-ordered protection from another person.
  • A Respondent is the person who allegedly committed the violence giving rise to the protective order. This is the person who is restrained by the protective order.
  • An Injunction is a court-ordered prohibition against doing a specific act. A protective order typically has several injunctions.
  • A Protective Order, also more commonly known as a restraining order or Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence, is an order from the court preventing the respondent from doing certain acts that involve the person who filed for the order.

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Reasons a Court may Grant a Protective Order

A court will grant a protective order if they find sufficient violence has occurred and will probably happen again. This finding can be from a number of reasons, and does not have to be actual domestic violence, but can be anything that indicates some kind of violence. Some reasons a court may grant a protective order can include:

  • Any indication of threats, harassment or abuse by the respondent;
  • Threats or actions to harm or kidnap the petitioner’s children;
  • Any prior harm caused to the petitioner or other family members by the respondent;
  • Intentional harm or killing of a family pet;
  • Threats to use or use of weapons, including guns and knives, against the petitioner;
  • Evidence of any prior protective order in any other jurisdiction;
  • Evidence the respondent failed to allow the petitioner to leave or call law enforcement; or
  • Evidence of destroying the petitioner’s property.

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Protective Order Hearing Process

The protective order process is described in Fla. Stat. § 741.30, in addition to the rules governing protective orders. The process begins when a person claims another person has committed violence against them, or they are afraid the other person will commit violence against them in the future. This person, the petitioner, will file a Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence.

Based strictly on the petitioner’s allegations, the court will determine if a temporary protective order should be put in place after the petitioner has filed. If a temporary order is granted, it will only be effective for 15 days. Additionally, a hearing for a final protective order will be held no later than 15 days after the temporary order has been put in place.

A respondent to a protective order is statutorily permitted a hearing at the earliest time possible after the petition has been filed. The respondent will be entitled to plead their side of the situation, present evidence, have witnesses testify on their behalf, and demonstrate any other reasons as to why the application for protective order should be denied. Before the hearing, the respondent will receive notice of the hearing, the date of the hearing, a copy of the petition, a financial affidavit, and copy of the temporary protective order if one is in place. The respondent is entitled to have an attorney represent them in their defense at the hearing.

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Examples of Protective Order Injunctions

If a protective order is made final after a hearing, or the protective order is a default order because the respondent did not appear at the hearing, the respondent will be subjected to permanent injunctions as set forth in the order. Examples of these injunctions can include:

  • Loss of access to the shared home;
  • Loss of child custody;
  • Petitioner given exclusive use of the home;
  • Prevention from contacting the petitioner;
  • Prevention from going to the children’s school or day care;
  • Prevention from going to the petitioner’s work or school;
  • Prohibitions from committing any act of domestic violence, including:
  • Required court-ordered treatment, classes or counseling, including a batterer’s intervention program;
  • Temporary financial support to the petitioner or children; and/or
  • Any other relief the court believes is necessary.

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Repercussions Arising from a Protective Order

If a protective order is made final against you, the injunctions can severely affect your daily life and also lead to criminal consequences if the protective order is violated. Further, the protective order and injunctions against you will remain in effect, in all counties in Florida and all 50 states, until the protective order has been modified or dissolved.

Protective orders are public records, so they can be uncovered through any background check. These background searches can include school admissions, job applications, housing applications, scholarships and government aid.

If you violate any injunctions in a protective order, you can immediately be arrested for the violation. Additionally, since protective orders prohibit someone from possessing any firearm or ammunition, you can be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree if you have a gun or ammunition in your possession while the protective order is in place. Misdemeanors of the first degree can result in up to one year in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.

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Hale & Hale, P.A. | Orlando Protective Order Hearings Attorneys

If you have been served with an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence in Orange County, Florida, and the surrounding areas of Seminole County, Osceola County, Winter Park, Orlando and Kissimmee, contact the attorneys of Hale & Hale to discuss the facts of your particular case. It is imperative to hire an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in representing those served with protective orders, and will make every effort to have your protective order lifted. Contact the law office of Hale & Hale at (407) 425-4640 for a consultation about your domestic violence charges and protective order hearing.