In Florida, if someone accuses you of violence that causes them to fear for their safety or their family members’ safety, they can petition the court for a temporary restraining order.
While a TRO is a civil process, violating one can influence the court’s decisions in a criminal case and lead to additional charges.
How long is my TRO valid?
Temporary restraining orders are valid for a maximum of 10 days unless a judge deems it necessary to grant a continuance. In the meantime, the court will hold a hearing where the judge will decide whether to release or continue the order. The court could also find cause to issue a final injunction, elevating the TRO to a permanent restraining order.
How can I fight a permanent order?
Permanent restraining orders impose greater restrictions than TROs. Even if you feel the TRO against you is unreasonable and unwarranted, you do not want to make things worse for yourself during this time. The best strategies to show the court that you do not deserve a permanent restraining order include:
- Following the rules and restrictions outlined in the court order
- Not contacting your accuser unless allowed by the judge through a third party
- Staying away from your accuser and your accuser’s property, residence and vehicle
- Not threatening or harassing your accuser
- Not vandalizing or defacing any property belonging to your accuser
A restraining order can affect your freedom and your future. To protect yourself from unnecessary hardship, it is important to understand your rights under Florida law.