Consequences Of Breaking An Injunction For Stalking
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Originally Posted On: https://bippermedia.com/consequences-of-breaking-an-injunction-for-stalking/
If you have a restraining order against someone, it’s important to know the risk you run if you break that order. This article will focus on what could happen if you violate a restraining order, primarily by stalking the victim.
What is Stalking?
According to the Florida Statutes, stalking is a crime involving a behavior pattern in which one person harasses or threatens another. Stalking may include following the victim, making frequent phone calls or sending uncomfortable text messages, leaving unwanted gifts, or making threats. Stalking is a serious crime that can have a devastating impact on the victim’s life.
Several different situations can lead to stalking. It may be a former romantic partner who cannot accept that the relationship is over. It may be someone angry or jealous and wants to control or hurt the victim. Sometimes, the stalker may not even know the victim and is fixated on them for unknown reasons.
Whatever the situation, if the offender has a restraining order against someone and they violate it by stalking you, there will be consequences.
Injunction for Stalking
An injunction for stalking is a legal order that prohibits the perpetrator from having any contact with the victim. This includes direct contact, such as physical violence or verbal threats, and indirect contact, such as mailing letters or sending gifts. It is a serious order that should not be taken lightly. If you violate an injunction for stalking, there are severe repercussions.
The duration of an injunction for stalking will depend on the state where you live, but they typically last for one to five years. After the injunction expires, the accused can petition the court to have it lifted. The victim will be notified if this occurs and will have the opportunity to attend the hearing and object to lifting the injunction.
Actions That Violate an Injunction
Injunctions are violated when people knowingly do something prohibited by the injunction. Violation of an injunction occurs when:
- Following the victim
- Threatening or harming the victim
- Making phone calls or sending text messages to the victim
- Contacting the victim in any way
- Leaving gifts for the victim
- Making threats against the victim
- Posting on social media about the victim
- Refusing to leave the victim’s property
- Entering or being within 500 feet of the victim’s home, school, workplace, or any other place where the victim is likely to be
- Refusing to surrender firearms if instructed to do so
These are just some ways that an offender can violate an injunction. It’s important to note that a violation can occur even if there is no contact between the perpetrator and victim. For example, if the perpetrator repeatedly drives by the victim’s house or posts threatening messages about the victim on social media, this would be considered a violation of the injunction.
Penalties for Violating an Injunction for Stalking
The penalties for violating an injunction for stalking in Florida can be harsh. Stalking is classified as a first degree misdemeanor. Read on for more specifics.
You could face jail time if convicted of violating an injunction for stalking. The amount of time you’ll spend in jail depends on the severity of the offense and your criminal history. In Florida, the maximum jail time for a first offense is one year, while subsequent violations can result in five years or more in prison.
In addition to, or instead of jail time, you may be placed on probation. Probation is when you’re supervised by a probation officer while following specific conditions such as attending counseling, refraining from contact with the victim, and obeying all provided laws. Violating the terms of your probation would mean jail time.
The severity of the offense and the offender’s age and criminal history are some factors that may be considered when deciding if an offender will receive probation instead of jail time. For example, if the offender is under 18 or has no previous criminal convictions, they may be more likely to receive probation. Those considered a danger to the victim or the community are less likely to be eligible for probation.
Violating an injunction for stalking can also result in fines. In Florida the court punishes first-time offenders with $500 to $1,000 in fines.
Restitution and Other Penalties
You may also be required to attend anger management or domestic violence counseling, give up any firearms you own, or be placed on a no-contact order, which means you’re not allowed to communicate with the victim or any of the victim’s family. In some cases, the victim of stalking may be entitled to restitution, which is the money paid to help cover any expenses incurred due to the crime. These expenses can include medical bills, lost wages, and therapy costs.
The Impact on the Victim’s Life
The law also considers the impact of the crime on the victim’s life when sentencing someone for violating an injunction for stalking. The victim may have to take time off work, move, or make other significant changes in their life to feel safe. The victim may also suffer from anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Hence, the penalties mentioned above are reasonable considering the apprehension caused to the victim. Stalking may look like a minor crime to an outsider, but often the victim has endured a lot of mental torture, which can have long-lasting effects. If proven guilty of stalking, it is only fair that the perpetrator is given a due punishment according to the law.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Breaking an injunction for stalking is a criminal offense that can result in significant penalties. The court has specifications on the actions that may result in a violation of the injunction. The penalties vary from state to state, including jail time, probation, fines, and restitution. The court will also consider the impact of the crime on the victim’s life when sentencing the offender.
These consequences will have a lasting impact on the offender’s life, so it is vital to take the matter seriously. Suppose you or someone you know has been accused of violating an injunction for stalking. In that case, you must contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.
Hopefully, this article has been informative and valuable. If you have any questions or need more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to our attorneys at Hanlon Law in Tampa today. We have a team of professionals ready to assist you with knowledge in handling stalking injunctions.
Contact us today for more information!
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Tampa, FL 33602