Arrested For Domestic Battery? Served With An Injunction? What to Know
A Domestic Battery is a criminal case and occurs when there is an “intentional touching or striking of another person against the will of the other” and that person is a “family or household member” which can include persons residing together including boyfriends and girlfriends.
What is an Injunction?
An Injunction For Protection Against Domestic Violence is a civil case. A person can file for an Injunction (called the Petitioner) by filling out a Petition and turning it in to the Clerk of the Court for review by a Judge. The Petitioner must be a victim of domestic violence or have reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of any act of domestic violence. (Note: An Injunction can otherwise be thought of as a Restraining Order or an Order Of Protection.)
It is common for an individual to be arrested for Domestic Battery and for the alleged victim to then file an Injunction For Protection Against Domestic Violence. The individual is then faced with two cases - one criminal, and one civil.
There are numerous consequences of being arrested for Domestic Battery and having an Injunction For Protection Against Domestic Violence filed against you, as well as significant consequences related from one case to the other.
Here are the Top 5 Things To Know When You've Been Arrested For Domestic Battery And Have Also Been Served With An Injunction:
#1 - Double No Contact Orders
In almost all cases, the Judge will order No Contact with the victim in the criminal case. This typically means no contact of any type including direct in-person contact, over the phone, via voicemail, via text, via social media, and even indirect contact through a third party (for example telling a family member to pass a message to the alleged victim).
Similarly, if a Temporary or Final Injunction is ordered in the civil Injunction case, there will be a comparable civil No Contact Order.
It is important to remember both No Contact Orders must be removed before there can be any contact with the alleged victim / Petitioner. Violation of either No Contact Order is a criminal offense.
#2 - Not being able to live at your Residence X 2
Directly related to the No Contact Order above is the fact that if No Contact is ordered with the victim in the case, and you lived with the victim before the arrest you will no longer be allowed to live at the shared residence.
Once again, if a Temporary or Final Injunction is ordered in the civil Injunction case and you lived with the Petitioner you will no longer be allowed to live at the shared residence if the Petitioner asks for possession of the residence.
In both the criminal case and the civil Injunction case, the Court will not care if you do not have any other place to live, nor will it be taken into consideration that you may have children or pets at the residence that you are responsible for. Both No Contact Orders must be removed before you can return to your residence.
#3 - Temporary Loss of ability to possess a Firearm or Ammunition
When released on a Domestic Battery charge you will be temporarily prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.
Similarly, if a Temporary or Final Injunction is ordered in the civil Injunction case, you will be temporarily prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.
Here again, both the criminal case must be resolved and the Injunction dismissed before it is legal to possess a firearm or ammunition.
#4 - Your Ability To Fight The Injunction May Be Limited
A final hearing is required by law within 15 days of the Injunction being filed if the Petitioner requests a non-waiver of Hearing. If you have a pending criminal case for Domestic Battery where the facts and circumstances are shared or similar between the criminal case and the allegations in the Injunction case you may be initially limited in your ability to fight the Injunction. Why? Because in most cases to fight the Injunction, your testimony will be required. This is an issue because anything you say in the civil Injunction case could potentially be used against you in the criminal case.
Typically, the Injunction case will have to be continued until such time that the criminal case is resolved.
#5 - There Are Criminal Consequences To Both Cases
Violating any of the Judge’s Orders mentioned above can subject you to being arrested.
A violation of the No Contact Order in the criminal case will cause you to be arrested and held without bond. Furthermore, the State Attorney may file a new criminal charge against you called a Violation of Pre-Trial Release.
A violation of the No Contact Order in the civil Injunction case will result in you being arrested on a new criminal charge of Violation of Injunction.
What If I Am The Petitioner?
We also help Petitioners in the Injunction case and can work as a victim’s advocate in the criminal case. Our knowledge of how cases work on both sides helps all of our clients immensely.
Criminal Domestic Violence cases are complex as are civil Injunction cases. A criminal defense attorney can be of great assistance in helping you understand the law, potential consequences, interactions between the cases, and methods to resolve the cases. Early intervention is key and may help you avoid a formal criminal charge based on the arrest and even put you in the position to have the criminal history removed from your record. Similarly, taking action on the Injunction matter right away is important to your ability to resolve the case.
If you have been arrested for Domestic Violence / Domestic Battery, or have had an Injunction For Protection Against Domestic Violence filed against you (or if you are the Petitioner) call the Morris Law Firm at 727-388-4736. The Morris Law Firm handles misdemeanor and felony criminal cases as well as related Injunction issues throughout the Tampa Bay area.