What Happens if You Violate a Restraining Order in Florida?

Key Takeaway: Restraining orders, commonly issued in cases of domestic violence, are a serious matter in Florida, and violating one can lead to criminal charges. Understanding the types of restraining orders, the consequences of violating them, and potential defenses is crucial. If you have been served a restraining order and are accused of violating the order, contact Orlando restraining order defense attorneys, Jay Rooth and Andrew Moses, for free case review today.

Restraining and protection orders are most often issued in civil court, and often in cases of domestic violence. In Florida, it is a criminal offense to violate one of these orders. In addition to violating one of these orders, it is not uncommon for stalking or other related charges to be added to the charges filed against you.

If you have a Florida restraining order filed against you, the best course of action is to not violate the order. However, if you do, it is important that you have an experienced Orlando restraining order defense attorney on your side who may be able to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.

Types of Restraining Orders

Most people have a general idea of what a restraining order is. However, many often do not realize how many different types of restraining orders exist.

Specifically, in Florida, there are six different types of restraining orders. Which restraining order may be imposed depends primarily on the identity of the alleged victim. 

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Domestic Violence 

A petitioner can seek a domestic violence or DV restraining order if they are the victim of domestic violence and demonstrate that they live, have lived, or share a child with the accused.

Domestic violence is a broad legal concept that can include an array of criminal offenses such as battery, assault, kidnapping, stalking, or sexual assault. Generally, the alleged victim must be a family or household member to be considered a domestic violence victim.

Usually, this means that the victim is a spouse, partner, child, etc. If someone is a victim of domestic violence, they may seek a domestic violence restraining order against the perpetrator to prevent further violence.

Dating Violence 

A dating violence injunction is similar to a domestic violence restraining order. The main difference between the two is the parties do not live together or share a child.

Repeat Violence

An individual can request a repeat-violence injunction if they or an immediate family member (e.g., a child) have been the victim of at least two incidents of violence or stalking. One of those incidents must have occurred in the last six months. 

Sexual Violence

A victim of a sex crime may request a sexual violence protective order upon reporting the offense to the police.


In Florida, a person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking. A stalking allegation is grounds for a protective injunction against the offender. 

The Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult

A guardian or agency acting on behalf of a vulnerable adult may request an injunction to protect an elderly or disabled individual who is in imminent danger of exploitation. 

What Happens If You Have an Injunction Against You?

In general, an injunction imposes restrictions and conditions you must follow. Typically, an injunction will prevent you from engaging in various activities. Some standard rules include the following: 

  • You can have no contact with the alleged victim;
  • If you share a residence with the victim, you will not be able to return to the familial home; and
  • You must surrender your firearms.

Additionally, the court could order you to attend therapy or anger management programs.

Many injunctions are also part of the public record, so there is a chance it could appear on a background check. This could impede your ability to obtain employment or a bank loan. If you do not abide by the injunction’s terms, you will likely face additional charges and make your situation even worse. 

If you picked up an additional charge for violating a protective order, hiring a restraining order violation attorney is critical.

Contact the Orlando injunction defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth today.

What Violates a Restraining Order?

In civil court, a restraining order may be placed against someone to restrict that person’s ability to have contact with another person. This is often done to stop threats or harassment of a person’s safety.

It is also possible for one person to have multiple restraining orders placed against him or her all at the same time. If the person who initiated the order against you attempts to have contact with you, this is a violation of the order, as well, and it is best to contact your attorney to communicate with the court that the individual tried to contact you so that you are not found in violation of the order.

Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order in Florida

Orlando Restraining Order Defense Lawyers

There are a variety of penalties that can be placed against the defendant in these cases. Although the offense is considered a first-degree misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000, if there have been multiple violations, the penalties may be increasingly harsh.

Because a restraining order is meant to protect the victim from the aggressor before a violent crime is committed, if authorities think that you have violated a restraining order, they may put you in jail before the crime is committed.

If you feel that you have an unfounded restraining order filed against you, it is imperative that you contact an attorney to try to get the order lifted rather than violating the order.

Defenses for Violating a Restraining Order

Of course, you need to speak to your attorney to determine what defense may be your best option, but some of the defenses that are commonly used in violation of a restraining order cases include:

  • You were not notified: If you never knew that you were supposed to stay away from the party, the court cannot punish you for violating the order.
  • The contact was not intentional: In some situations you may come into contact with the person at a public location. If that happens, and you did not harass or threaten the person, you may have violated the order, but not intentionally.
  • The contact occurred when you were lawfully carrying out a civil order: In some cases, a restraining order may be filed in a child custody case. However, other orders may be in conflict with the restraining order, for example, going to the other person’s house to pick up your child.
  • Plea bargains: If you do not have a defense, a plea bargain may be the best way to obtain a lenient punishment.

Why You Need an Orlando Restraining Order Defense Lawyer

It is an unfortunate truth that sometimes restraining orders are misused and abused. While the need for restraining orders is real and intended to protect victims and prevent violence, sometimes petitioners seeking a restraining order are not truthful.

And in contrast to most criminal charges where you do not face punishment until after you are convicted, you can face immediate repercussions upon a court granting a restraining order. So to stop one from being wrongfully implemented, you need an experienced lawyer by your side.

Furthermore, once a restraining order is in place, even a minor infraction can lead to significant consequences. An experienced restraining order defense attorney will also help ensure a temporary restraining order does not become a permanent one. If you have been served with a restraining order, our injunction defense lawyers will advocate for your rights.

Contact a Restraining Order Violation Lawyer in Orlando Today

If you are facing charges for violating a restraining order, contact the attorneys at Moses & Rooth today. We will work to create the best possible defense strategy for the charges that you are facing.