Violation of a Protective Order

While the alleged offenders in domestic violence cases can often disagree with some of the requirements of injunctions for protection (commonly referred to as restraining orders or protective orders), such injunctions are still court orders for which violations can carry criminal penalties. Alleged violations of restraining orders not only carry possible incarceration and fines, but can also have damaging effects on employment, professional licensing, and child custody.

In many cases, alleged offenders (referred to in injunctions as respondents) unknowingly or accidentally violate the terms of their respective injunctions. Respondents can be accused of protective order violations simply for returning phone calls from alleged victims (referred to as petitioners), even though the protected party was the one that initiated the contact.

Attorney for Violation of a Protective Order Arrests in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you were recently arrested anywhere in Broward County for an alleged violation of an injunction for protection, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. defends clients facing domestic violence charges in Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Margate, and many surrounding areas of South Florida.

Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (954) 716-8538 right now to have our attorneys review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.


Overview of Violations of Protective Orders in Broward County


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Florida Violation of a Protective Order Charges

Florida Statute § 741.31(4)(a) establishes that a person willfully violates an injunction for protection against domestic violence and Florida Statute § 784.047(1) states that a person willfully violates an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence by doing any of the following:

  • Refusing to vacate the dwelling that the parties share;
  • Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner’s residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family or household member;
  • Committing an act of domestic violence against the petitioner;
  • Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the petitioner;
  • Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;
  • Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner’s motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;
  • Defacing or destroying the petitioner’s personal property, including the petitioner’s motor vehicle; or
  • Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court.

Under Florida Statute § 784.0487(4)(a), a person willfully violates an injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking by doing any of the following:

  • Going to, or being within 500 feet of, the petitioner’s residence, school, place of employment, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner;
  • Committing an act of stalking against the petitioner;
  • Committing any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the petitioner;
  • Telephoning, contacting, or otherwise communicating with the petitioner, directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;
  • Knowingly and intentionally coming within 100 feet of the petitioner’s motor vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;
  • Defacing or destroying the petitioner’s personal property, including the petitioner’s motor vehicle; or
  • Refusing to surrender firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court.

Every case is unique, and respondents may be accused of restraining order violations for other acts that allegedly constitute violations of other specific restrictions not listed above.


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Violation of a Protective Order Penalties in Broward County

When a respondent violates an injunction, it is a first-degree misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.If the alleged offender has two or more prior convictions for violation of an injunction or foreign protection order, any subsequent violation is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

In addition to the aforementioned penalties, alleged offender may also be required to attend a batterer intervention program. Cases involving physical injury or property damage can also result in economic damages paid by the respondent being awarded to the petitioner.


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Florida Resources for Violations of Protective Orders

Women In Distress | Broward County, Inc. — Women In Distress of Broward County, Inc. identifies itself as “the only nationally accredited, state-certified, full service domestic violence center serving Broward County.” Its mission is “to stop domestic violence abuse for everyone through intervention, education and advocacy.” Visit this website to learn more about its emergency shelter, children support services, and counseling and therapy sessions.

Local Center Services | Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) — FCADV is the professional association for Florida's 42 domestic violence centers. On this section of the FCADV website, you can view an interactive map and find a listing of shelters throughout the state. If you need immediate assistance regarding the certified domestic violence centers and statewide resources, you are instructed to call the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119.


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Meltzer & Bell, P.A. | Fort Lauderdale Violation of a Protective Order Defense Lawyer

Were you arrested for any kind of alleged restraining order violation in South Florida? No matter how confident you are in your innocence, do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. as soon as possible.

Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale who represent residents of and visitors to communities all over Broward County, including Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Tamarac, Weston, Wilton Manors, and many others. Call (954) 716-8538 or submit an online contact form to let our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.


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