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Representing the Respondent

The person who files for an injunction for protection (more commonly known as a restraining order, protective order, or protection order) in Florida is referred to as the petitioner, and the individual who the order is being sought against is known as the respondent. An ex parte injunction can be issued at a hearing without the respondent being present, but the respondent has the opportunity to defend him or herself against the allegations at a final hearing.

It is critical for any person against whom an injunction for protection is being sought to retain legal counsel for assistance collecting the evidence and witnesses necessary to reduce or eliminate the possible restrictions imposed by a restraining order.

Similarly, any person accused of violating a protective order will also want to contact a criminal defense attorney for help avoiding possible fines and imprisonment.

Lawyer Representing the Respondent in West Palm Beach, FL

If you have been served with or accused of violating an injunction for protection in South Florida, do not make any statement to authorities until you have legal representation. Contact Quality Family Law as soon as possible.

Our West Palm Beach divorce attorneys aggressively defend clients accused of domestic violence in communities throughout Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County, such as Jupiter, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, and many others.

You can have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (561) 557-8686 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.


Palm Beach County Domestic Violence Respondent Information Center


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Types of Domestic Violence Injunctions in Florida

Restrictions imposed on respondents in injunctions for protection can vary depending on each person's unique case. In general, Florida Statute § 784.047(1) establishes that a person willfully violates an injunction for protection against domestic violence under Florida Statute § 741.31(4)(a) or an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence under Florida Statute § 784.047(1) 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 repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating 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.

When the respondent is subject to an injunction for protection against stalking or cyberstalking, he or she willfully violates said injunction 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.

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Protective Order Violation Penalties in West Palm Beach

First convictions for violations of injunctions for protection are first-degree misdemeanor offenses punishable by up to one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. When an alleged offender has two or more prior convictions for violating an injunction or foreign protection order, any subsequent violation is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.Under Florida Statute § 741.31(5), willful violations of domestic violence injunctions are also punishable by court-ordered mandatory batterers’ intervention program attendance.

Additionally, Florida Statute § 741.31(6) allows any individual who suffers an injury or loss as a result of a domestic violence restraining order violation to be awarded economic damages for the injury or loss, including costs and attorneys’ fees for enforcement of the injunction.


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Representing the Respondent Resources in Florida

Domestic Violence/Repeat Violence | Clerk & Comptroller, Palm Beach County — Visit this section of the Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller's Office website to learn more about the difference between domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking. You can also find information about how complaints are filed and handled. The website also has information about what each type of injunction will do.

Palm Beach County Clerk
205 N. Dixie Hwy.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 355-2996

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) | Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida — The Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida primarily handles civil cases in which the amount in controversy is more than $15,000 and appeals from county courts. Find answers to FAQs about domestic violence on this section of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit website. Learn more about how to get an injunction dismissed or dropped and what to do if you have a problem with your hearing date.

Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida
205 N. Dixie Hwy.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 355-2431


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Quality Family Law | West Palm Beach Attorney Representing the Respondent

Are you a respondent accused of violating or have you been served with an injunction for protection in South Florida? No matter how confident you are about your innocence, do not speak to authorities without first contacting Quality Family Law.

Our divorce lawyers in West Palm Beach represent individuals in Riviera Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Greenacres, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, and many surrounding areas of Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County, and Broward County.

Call (561) 557-8686 or fill out an online form to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.



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