Restraining Order vs. Protective Injunction

Restraining Order vs. Protective Injunction

In many domestic violence cases, victims may pursue a restraining order or a protective order. So, what is the difference, and what happens when someone issues an order against you?

Domestic Violence in Florida

Florida law defines domestic violence as the actions and intention to commit the following acts against a family or household member:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Aggravated assault
  • Aggravated battery
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual battery
  • Kidnapping
  • Stalking
  • Harassment
  • Cyberstalking
  • False imprisonment
  • Any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death to a family or household member

Domestic violence comes in many shapes and forms and may evolve or result from a personality change. People experience emotions and process emotions in different ways, and unfortunately, there is no small number of people who take out their frustrations on loved ones.

It’s also important to note that domestic violence can occur between any family member or household. Children, partners, parents, and siblings can be victims or aggressors in a domestic violence situation.

The Difference Between a Restraining Order and Protective Injunction

When someone is a victim of domestic violence, they may seek court-ordered protection. This order may be called a restraining order or protective injunction, but ultimately, they are the same.

There are different kinds of protective orders, including:

  • Protection against dating violence
  • Domestic violence injunctions
  • Sexual violence injunctions
  • Stalking injunctions
  • Repeat violence orders

Depending on the unique circumstances in each case, the judge may issue one of the orders listed above. As mentioned previously, every domestic violence case is different, and the victim may pursue a different legal action depending on the situation.

Who Qualifies for a Protective Order?

Victims of violence from a fellow family or household member may take out a protective order against:

  • A current or former spouse who still lives in the house
  • Anyone living in the house as if they were a pa4rt of the family
  • Blood relatives
  • People who have a child in common

In many cases, the court will allow an individual to take out a protective order against someone who no longer lives with them but shared the house at one point in the past. Minors can also pursue a restraining order with the help of a parent or legal guardian. If the legal guardian is the abuser, minors may seek help at an advocacy center or shelter.

What Does a Restraining Order Do?

Because restraining orders differ depending on the victim’s unique circumstances, they offer a different level of protection. Some restraining orders prevent the abuser from being within a certain distance of the victim. Other orders may prevent the abuser from being near the victim and carrying a firearm.

Ultimately, the judge will decide if the person filing for a protective order is in immediate danger of domestic violence. To make this decision, the judge considers the following factors:

  • The history between the victim and alleged aggressor
  • Whether weapons or force have been used
  • The criminal history of the alleged aggressor
  • Whether previous restraining orders exist
  • Whether threats of force have been used to intimidate

If the judge finds any or all of the above to be a factor in the case, they will likely issue a protective order to prevent further harm or violence.

Is There a Restraining Order Against You?

If someone has filed a protective order against you, you may have legal options. The Law Offices of Phillip T. Ridolfo, Jr. has over 30 years of experience handling complex domestic violence cases, and we can help you too.

Schedule an appointment with our firm to find out how we can help

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