Injunctions are court orders. A judge will use an injunction to stop the unlawful or harmful actions of a person.
The court can issue three types of injunctions: permanent or preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders. While preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders are often ordered at the start of a lawsuit, permanent injunctions are typically given with the final judgment.
Typically, an injunction protects one or more individuals. These include domestic, sexual, dating and repeated violence as well as stalking injunctions.
Individuals who harm, threaten or contact the petitioner violate the injunction. These individuals cannot damage the property of the individual who received the order, and they need to leave the home if they live there. Violating an injunction may be something as small as being in the proximity of the person’s vehicle, residence, employer, school or other frequented location. These individuals may also have to surrender their weapons and ammunition to the court.
Injunction violation penalties
Those who violate injunctions can face several penalties, including criminal charges. In addition, the judge may order jail time or fines. Some judges will even order the alleged violator to complete intervention or treatment programs.
Defending against injunction violations
The accused can avoid penalties if they can prove that they are innocent. A criminal defense attorney can help build a defense against violation claims based on the state’s laws. For example, some may prove that the accused did not understand the scope of the injunction, the contact was unintentional or the petitioner initiated the contact. This professional can also help get these orders dismissed.
To avoid a violation, individuals who are subject to injunctions should find out the full scope of the order and avoid all contact with the petitioner until the judge removes the injunction.