Ringsmuth, Day & O’Halloran, PLLC - Fort Myers Criminal Defense
Former Prosecutors

What does it mean if you have a protective order against you?

When it comes to family matters, they can sometimes get out of hand. Whether any actual physical violence took place during an argument or altercation, a Florida resident may decide to obtain a protective order against another person they say they fear.

If you are the person who is the subject of the protective order, then you may want to gain an understanding of what it means for you. These matters can result in criminal charges that could affect nearly every aspect of your life. It could affect your job, the way your friends and family perceive you and even whether you can see your children. Resolving this issue as quickly as possible would be in your best interests.

What situations lead to protective orders?

If another person obtained a protective order against you, it means that he or she accuses you of one or more of the following:

  • Stalking or aggravated stalking
  • False imprisonment
  • Assault or aggravated assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Battery or aggravated battery

It could also result from any other criminal offense that involves physical harm or death. Even though violating a protective order is only a first-degree misdemeanor here in Florida, that does not mean you should not take any violation seriously.

What does the protective order do?

A protective order requires you to stay away from the home, place of business or school of the person who obtained the order, which may be one of the following:

  • Any relative by marriage or blood
  • A former or current spouse
  • A former or current co-habitant
  • Your children's other parent

These orders may also require you to stay away from others related to the person requesting the order, such as your children if it is your spouse, partner or other parent. The order may also restrict you from contacting the other party. After officials serve you with a protective order, you would greatly benefit from taking it to an attorney for review. More than likely, a court appearance will be a requirement at some point, and you want to make sure that you prepare for it and don't miss it.

Even if you do not face criminal charges connected with the other party receiving a protective order against you, any violation could easily result in you ending up under arrest. As frustrating as the situation may be, the last thing you want to do is attempt to talk to the person who sought the order. You need to know right away what your rights and responsibilities are with regard to the order to ensure that you don't inadvertently violate it and end up in jail.

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