Injunctions are one of the most important tools accessible to victims of domestic violence, other violent crimes, and stalking. Sometimes, the criminal justice system alone does not have the resources or reach to protect people who have suffered violence or harassment from another person. The injunction system allows a victim to have a speedy court hearing during which a judge can decide to issue a protective order restricting the ability of a person to continue their violent or harassing behavior. If you are the victim of stalking, violence or domestic violence, contacting a Sarasota injunction attorney can help to get you the protection you need.
On the other side of the coin, petitions for injunction can also be used for harassment or other nefarious purposes. Often, we see couples who are embroiled in contentious divorces utilize the injunction process against one another to gain an upper hand or simply to antagonize their counterparts. Especially when lawyers are not involved, the injunction process can be taken advantage of and can devolve from a serious legal protection program for victims into a tool for unscrupulous people to use against their enemies.Elements of Stalking Injunctions
Most injunctions deal with violence protections. The most commonly filed injunctions arise from domestic violence and repeat violence situations. In requesting that type of an injunction, a petitioner is required to prove that an incidence of violence occurred, and that an injunction is necessary to prevent future acts of violence from the respondent. Violence injunctions can be effective tools to protect legitimate victims from repeated acts of violence from respondents. However, people who suffered from nonviolent harassment also required an avenue to protect themselves from continued stalking, so the stalking and cyberstalking injunctions were born. If you are the victim of cyberstalking, or are someone who has been accused of stalking, you should not hesitate to contact a skilled Sarasota injunction attorney to learn about your options.
In order to qualify for a stalking injunction, the petitioner must first look to Florida Statute 784.0485. Stalking is defined under the law in Florida as the willful, malicious, and repeaded following, harrassing or cybrstalking of another person. Harassment is defined as the continued course of conduct that is directed at a person causing substantial emotional distress while serving no legitimate purpose. Cyberstalking carries its own definition: communication of words, images or language via the internet, email, or other electronic communication such as social media, which causes substantial emotional distress to the targeted person.
If the facts of the case fall under any of those categories, the victim of the stalking can petition the court for an injunction. The petition must include enough allegations and specific facts to convince a judge that an injunction is necessary to protect the petitioner from continued stalking. If the petition meets that threshold, the Judge assigned to the case can issue a temporary injunction that takes effect immediately. IF the petition does not meet the threshold, a hearing may need to be held in order for any injunction to take effect. For this reason it is important to retain an experienced Sarasota injunction lawyer to ensure that your petition meets the legal requirements to obtain an initial temporary injunction.
Once the petition is filed, a hearing will be set to have a trial before a Judge who will determine whether the evidence is sufficient to support a permanent injunction, a temporary injunction, or the dismissal of the injunction. Unfortunately, the rules of evidence and procedure during injunction procedures are relatively lax, so having a skilled injunction attorney by your side as either the petitioner or the respondent can protect you from the lackadaisical procedures.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law are prepared to review and analyze your case right away. Whether you have been accused of stalking or are the victim of stalking, we can help represent you. Contact us today for a consultation at 941.462.1789.