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Understanding Injunction vs. Restraining Order

If you're facing a court intervention, having the information about an injunction vs. restraining order is important for your future - and your defense. They do have similarities – but critical differences too.

What Are the Differences Between an Injunction and a Restraining Order in Florida?

Restraining orders and injunctions are typically filed by a plaintiff in order to provide protection from the defendant from doing something to them that the person has threatened. Even though they may be filed for similar reasons, there are distinct differences between an injunction and a restraining order.

What is a restraining order?

A restraining order is an official directive that the court issues to an individual (the defendant) to cease certain actions with another person (the plaintiff), which can include no contact at all. There are varying reasons people file an application for a restraining order to the court, which can include:

  • employment disputes,
  • copyright infringements,
  • harassment,
  • stalking, and
  • domestic abuse

Once the restraining order is filed, the application's merits are considered by the court using a standard test. These types of protective orders are temporary, with a limited duration of time and effect.

What is a court-ordered injunction? 

An injunction is an official directive from the court that goes beyond temporary restrictions, acting as a permanent legal order if approved by the court. For clarity, when comparing injunction vs. restraining order, the restraining order is intended to provide immediate relief/protection. An injunction has long-lasting effects that prevent the defendant from interacting with/contacting the plaintiff.

While employment disputes, copyright infringements, disputes between neighbors, stalking, and harassment are legitimate reasons to file a restraining order or injunction, domestic violence is the reason most are filed. It's important to note, regardless of the differences between an injunction and a restraining order, if the court in Florida issues one, it is enforceable throughout the United States.

Types of Florida Restraining Orders and Injunctions

The State of Florida has four basic types of restraining orders and injunctions.

  1. Dating Violence Restraining Order/Injunction
  2. Sexual Violence Restraining Order/Injunction
  3. Domestic Violence Restraining Order/Injunction
  4. Repeat Violence Restraining Order/Injunction

The presiding judge in the case has the discretion to rule either way on a restraining order or an injunction, such as a stalking injunction. Depending on the details – and how the case is presented – the ruling can go either way. That's why it is so important for those facing a restraining order or injunction to have a good defense attorney. If either of these court orders has been placed on you, you have a right to appeal as it may be able to be revoked.

If you are currently in a dispute, negotiations may be performed between both parties' attorneys before the dispute advances to the severity of a restraining order or injunction. Anyone facing a restraining order or injunction, such as a stalking injunction has the right to an attorney and a strong defense, and it's advisable to contact a defense attorney as soon as possible.

How To File A Restraining Order Or Injunction In Florida

If you need to file a restraining order or injunction in Florida, a Petition must be filed with the County Clerk of Courts, and the Petition should be filed with all the pertinent information. A Florida attorney who works with restraining orders and injunctions has the legal knowledge to submit a thorough, solid Petition to the Clerk of Courts. Restraining orders can be filed online, mailed, or submitted in person at the County Clerk’s office (depending on your county’s protocols during the pandemic).

All required forms must be submitted correctly with accurate, complete, and factual information. Once the Petition is submitted, the judge will decide on the temporary restraining order. If it's approved, the defendant will have to abide by the order pending the court hearing for an injunction. The courts will send you a date for the hearing, where you and your attorney will appear in front of the judge, along with the other party and their attorney, if they have one.

In the court, each party and their respective attorney are allowed to speak and present evidence, including witnesses, messages, and police reports, among other items. Once the hearing is concluded, the judge may enter their final judgment or dismiss the Petition.

When to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

Restraining orders and injunctions are serious matters that can greatly impact a person’s life. If you believe a restraining order or injunction filed against you is imminent or you are already facing one, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Everyone has the right to a strong defense.

A criminal defense attorney has comprehensive knowledge of the law formidable negotiation skills, and a keen understanding of strategy when building a defense. You may be able to avoid a restraining order or injunction before it gets put in place or be able to get one dismissed altogether.

Bruce Denson provides a high-quality, aggressive defense for each client and has been a criminal defense attorney for more than twenty years.

Contact The Denson Firm today to set up a free consultation.

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