What You Should Know About Injunctions
When you are facing an injunction issue through a civil or criminal matter, you need to be sure that you have the information you need to defend your best interests through the process. At the Clearwater office of Finkelstein Firm, P.A., I am here to provide you with the answers you need to get through your injunction matter. I am lawyer Jenna Finkelstein, and I can answer common and complicated questions such as those below.
Can I fight an injunction?
Yes. You can object to a petition for an injunction. If you object to the petition, then the judge will proceed to a hearing. The petitioner has the initial burden of proof to establish by a preponderance the evidence of why they are in fear. This is a lower standard than the burden in a criminal case, which is proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You or your attorney may question the petitioner through a cross-examination. After the petitioner has presented their case, you will have the opportunity to respond. The judge will make a decision based on the evidence presented as to whether the injunction should be put in place and, if so, how long.
Should I get an injunction?
It depends. If you are in fear, then you should consider this as an option. If you are in fear and at risk of immediate harm, do not hesitate to call law enforcement. Typically, law enforcement officers will direct you to file a civil injunction if there is no immediate cause for an arrest.
How do I get an injunction?
The clerk’s office has the paperwork you need to start the process. If you are not comfortable filing this paperwork on your own behalf, do not hesitate to call my office. I can advise you on what paperwork to fill out and assist you with this process.
What type of injunction should I get?
There are different types of injunctions, depending on the relationship involved and the facts of your case. If you are unsure, contact the clerk’s office or call to schedule an appointment so that I can assist you.
Can I own a gun if I have an injunction against me?
If you have an injunction currently in force against you for stalking, harassment or domestic violence, you cannot own or possess a firearm.
How long will the injunction last?
The judge determines the length of an injunction. It may be from weeks to years, and, in rare occasions, an injunction may be permanent.
Can I go to jail if I violate an injunction?
Yes, you will go to jail if you violate an injunction for domestic violence. This is a criminal charge, and it will require experienced criminal defense representation to overcome.
The victim keeps contacting me – can I go to jail?
Absolutely. Avoid all contact directly or indirectly. This is a common misconception. Oftentimes, the petitioner will call or text the respondent or the individual who has an injunction against them. If you respond or engage, then you can and most likely will be arrested if a police report is filed. “They contacted me first” is not a defense to a criminal violation of an injunction.
Should I represent myself for an injunction hearing in court?
If you have the ability to hire a lawyer, do so. Even if you do not wish to have contact with the individual who has filed for an injunction, it is best to contest these petitions. As previously explained, violations can lead to criminal charges.
What happens if I do not go to court?
If you are the petitioner and do not go to court, then the injunction will likely be immediately dismissed unless you notify the court that you cannot attend and need a continuance. The petitioner typically wins if the respondent does not appear, assuming that the initial burden has been met through the written petition or oral presentation at the hearing.
Get The Guidance You Need
If you are ready to meet with an attorney you can count on throughout your injunction needs, contact me today for your free initial consultation. Call 727-202-4418 or email me here, and take the first step in meeting your legal needs.