How Domestic Violence Injunctions Can Protect Petitioners From Third Party Pressures
Often, when people think about domestic violence restraining orders, they imagine that the injunctions only protect petitioners from the respondent listed in the order, or the person accused of domestic violence. While it is true that the primary aim of domestic violence injunctions is to protect petitioners from the person who has committed or is threatening to commit violence against them, these legal orders can also provide additional protections to victims of domestic violence, namely from third parties who may be in contact with the respondent. To learn more about how an injunction could protect you and your family, or for help enforcing an existing restraining order, please set up a meeting with one of our experienced Largo domestic violence lawyers today.
Standard No-Contact Orders
Standard domestic violence injunctions provider petitioners with a wide range of protections. For instance, under these orders, respondents are generally prohibited from having any direct contact with the petitioner, either in person, by phone, or via electronic means. In fact, respondents are also typically ordered to remain 500 feet from:
- The petitioner’s home;
- The petitioner’s place of employment;
- The petitioner’s school; or
- A specified place that is frequented regularly by the petitioner.
In addition to mandating physical distance between respondents and petitioners and prohibiting all types of direct contact, standard domestic violence injunctions also bar respondents from indirect contact with the petitioner.
No-Contact Orders Extend to Third Parties
Although many people don’t realize it, Florida’s no-contact orders also prohibit respondents from initiating indirect contact with the petitioner, which includes asking a third party to contact a victim on their behalf. These third parties could include everyone from a family member or friend to a neighbor or co-worker. Unfortunately, respondents often violate these portions of restraining orders, sometimes because they don’t realize that they are violating the order by doing so.
Regardless of the respondent’s intent, the actions of third parties can have a significant impact on domestic violence victims, who may end up the recipients of unwanted phone calls, text messages, emails, and even in-person visits from friends or family members of the respondent, asking the petitioner to drop the legal action. Some third parties may even pass along threats from the respondent. This conduct constitutes a violation of an injunction under Florida law and holds the same weight and penalties as though the respondent directly contacted the petitioner. This means that a respondent could be fined, held in contempt of court, or charged with a first degree misdemeanor for initiating indirect contact with a petitioner.
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Attempting to protect oneself from domestic violence is already an emotionally taxing endeavor and outside pressures from friends or family members can make this process even more complicated. Fortunately, there are steps that domestic violence victims can take to protect themselves from this kind of indirect contact. Make sure that you are properly advised about your rights under a domestic violence injunction and reach out to the dedicated Largo domestic violence lawyers at Cairns Law by calling 727-683-1472 today.