It happens to more people than you may think. A spouse, a domestic partner or a family member files for and obtains a restraining order. The person who filed decides that they no longer wish to be kept apart from the person named in the order and initiates contact. The person named in the order accepts that contact and is subsequently arrested for violating the restraining order. It doesn’t seem fair, but it is the law. Here’s what you need to know.

Once a restraining order is granted, only the judge has the right to modify, dismiss or dissolve the order. According to Florida Statute 784.046(13), even if the person who sought the order initiates contact, it is the person named in the order who can be arrested on criminal charges.

If the person who filed for the order has forgiven you and wishes to resume contact, they must consult with their attorney. That legal professional can then start the process of having the order dismissed. It will still be at the discretion of the judge whether the order remains in place or is lifted.

But what do you do if the party seeking the injunction continues to contact you? It is important that you contact your legal representative immediately. Do not let your emotions guide your actions. No matter how often the filing party attempts to contact you to resolve your issues, you are the person who will be held criminally responsible for violating the order.

Should you be arrested, you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. This is considered a serious offense by the justice systems across Florida. You will be considered as having a disregard for the law, and you will be dealt with accordingly.

Even if you do not violate the order willfully or with intent, you can be arrested. Law enforcement takes the violation of restraining orders very seriously because they have to. When you and the filing party are ready to resolve your differences, do so through your attorneys.

If you are arrested for violating a protection order because the filing party initiated contact, you have options. An experienced attorney knows how to defend you against your charges and may be able to intervene on your behalf. Call our experienced criminal defense team today. We have years of experience defending people in the same situation you have found yourself in. Call today for a free case evaluation.

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