Courts in Florida and throughout the country may issue restraining orders against those who might pose a threat to other individuals. In most cases, a temporary restraining order will be granted after listening to testimony from the plaintiff. The temporary order will remain in effect until an actual hearing can be held. During the first full hearing, both the plaintiff and the person subject to the order will be allowed to present evidence to the judge.
Evidence may include medical records, police reports or witness testimony. A person may also want to bring copies of emails, text messages or other correspondence to show that the plaintiff is not actually in danger. Individuals who are attempting to get a restraining order dismissed are encouraged to practice telling their story to their friends or family members. Doing so can help a person remain calm in court, which may make it easier to provide convincing testimony.
If a judge finds in favor of the plaintiff, a restraining order will typically remain in effect for at least a year. In some cases, orders can remain in effect for up to five years or longer. In most cases, a default judgement will be made in a plaintiff’s favor if the respondent fails to show up for a hearing.
A person who is facing allegations of domestic violence may face penalties such as jail time, probation or an order to stay away from a potential victim. An attorney may be able to use text messages or witness testimony in an effort to show that a defendant did not abuse a spouse, child or former romantic partner, and this might be enough to get a domestic violence charge dismissed. If a charge is dismissed, it may be possible to have the record expunged.