Injunctions to Prevent Sexual Violence

Bradenton Attorney Advocating for the Rights of Defendants

A person may seek a sexual violence injunction against you if they believe that you have perpetrated rape or another sex crime. In some cases, parents may seek an injunction against sexual violence on behalf of their minor child. An injunction to prevent sexual violence is separate from any criminal charges that may be brought for sex crimes or violent crimes. Bradenton injunction lawyer Will Hanlon fights for the accused not only in connection with criminal charges but also to defend against injunctions to prevent sexual violence. If you have been served papers for a petition for an injunction against sexual violence, you should contact us.

Injunctions to Prevent Sexual Violence

A person can file a sworn petition for an injunction against sexual violence under Florida Statute section 784.046. Circumstances that would constitute a basis for obtaining this injunction (as well as separate criminal charges) include sexual battery, lewd or lascivious crimes, sexual performance of a child, luring, or a forcible felony involving a sex act. Either the victim or, if the victim is a minor, their parents can file a sworn petition for an injunction.

An injunction is a court order to do or not do certain things. For example, it may order you to remain 500 feet away from the petitioner. It might order you to stay 100 feet from their school, home, vehicle, or jobsite. These limitations can change your life significantly. For example, if you were accused of perpetrating sexual battery on a coworker, you could face an injunction to prevent sexual violence that requires you not to go to your job. Similarly, if you live with relatives, and they have eyewitness affidavits from people who saw you engaging in lewd or lascivious conduct with their son, they could seek an injunction to order you not to come back to your shared home.

You can face an injunction to prevent sexual violence even if criminal charges were never filed. Prosecutors must meet a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard in the case of criminal charges, and this affects which cases they choose to prosecute. However, the standard for obtaining an injunction is much lower. It is crucial to seek out an experienced lawyer’s representation even if a prosecutor decided not to prosecute. Sometimes criminal charges may be filed after an injunction is obtained, and an injunction opens up the possibility of further criminal prosecution.

There are certain special rules that apply when an injunction is sought on behalf of an underage child. For example, when the petitioner is a parent, and the respondent is the other parent of the same child, direct evidence of the sexual violence is necessary.

Many people assume that an injunction is not as serious as a criminal charge, and they might not consult an attorney. They may be shocked to find that they face criminal charges simply for violating the injunction. If the court finds that you willfully violated an injunction to prevent sexual violence, you can face a first-degree misdemeanor conviction, and you may face up to a year in jail, even if you did not actually perform the sexual violence that was the initial basis of the protective injunction. When there are two or more convictions for violating an injunction, you may be convicted of a third-degree felony, and this can carry a five-year prison sentence.

Accordingly, it is important to fight an injunction against sexual violence, even if you have not been charged criminally. In some cases, the petitioner is able to get a temporary ex parte injunction before giving you notice, but you will have an opportunity at a full hearing to present your side of the story. It is important to obtain an attorney to represent you at the full hearing.

Seek Legal Guidance When Facing an Injunction in Bradenton

An injunction to prevent sexual violence or another type of violence, such as dating violence, can create problems for you down the road. If you have been served with papers for such an injunction, you should consult a skillful criminal defense lawyer in Bradenton as soon as possible. Will Hanlon has defended people accused of violent crimes since 1994. Contact Hanlon Law at (941) 462-1789 or via our online form.