Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Florida Protective Orders Laws

A protective order is a legal injunction, which is essentially an official document issued by the court. It is intended to protect someone from future violence by ordering another person not to do certain things -- usually to stay away from and not contact the person who requested the order. In Florida, there are four different types of protective orders that cover four different types of violence: domestic, repeat, dating, and sexual.

Domestic Violence Protective Orders

Protective orders, in instances of domestic violence, may be issued if a family/household member commits one of the following acts of violence against another family/household member:

  • Assault, aggravated assault, and sexual assault;
  • Battery, aggravated battery, and sexual battery;
  • Stalking and aggravated stalking;
  • Kidnapping;
  • False imprisonment; or
  • Any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death.

It is important to note that domestic violence protective orders are specifically intended to protect victims who have a specific relationship with the abuser. The victim may be a:

  • Current or former spouse;
  • Relative by blood or marriage;
  • Co-habitant or former co-habitant (someone the abuser has lived or formerly lived with); or
  • Child's other parent.

The basic provisions of Florida's protective order laws are listed in the table below.

Code Section

741.30 - 741.31

Activity Addressed by Order

Exclude from dwelling; enjoin contact; regarding minor children: grant temporary custody visitations, temporary support; counseling; restrain from committing any acts of domestic violence

Duration of Order

Ex parte temporary: maximum 15 days. General protective order: maximum 1 year, can reapply but maximum an additional year each time

Penalty for a Violation of Order

Misdemeanor in 1st degree

Who May Apply for Order

Any family or household member who is a victim of domestic violence or one who has reasonable cause to believe he or she is about to become victim

Can Fees Be Waived?


Order Transmission to Law Enforcement

Within 24 hours of issuance

Civil Liability for Violation of Order

Civil contempt

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Florida criminal attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you mare researching.

Repeat, Dating, and Sexual Violence

If a victim does fall into one of the categories listed above, he or she will likely need to file for a protective order for repeat, dating, or sexual violence. Orders against these types of violence offer similar protections to domestic violence orders. The requirements to file a protective order for each type of violence are listed below:

  • Repeat Violence. 2 instances of "violence" (as defined above) committed by the abuser against the victim or victim's immediate family member. At least one of these instances must have been within 6 months of filing for the protective order. In this context, the relationship between the victim and abuser does not matter.
  • Dating Violence. Violence between people currently or previously in a "continuing and significant" romantic or intimate relationship. The court determines whether the relationship is "continuing and significant" by looking at the following factors:
    • If the parties dated within the last 6 months;
    • The relationship involved the expectation of affection or sexual involvement; and
    • The parties must have been involved with one another over a continuous amount of time.
  • Sexual Violence. Any instance of the following acts committed by the abuser, regardless of whether criminal charges were filed, reduced, or dismissed:
    • Sexual battery;
    • Lewd or lascivious act committed upon or in the presence of someone younger than 16 years of age;
    • Luring or enticing a child;
    • Sexual performance by a child; or
    • Any other forcible felony involving a sexual act (including merely attempting such an act).

Research the Law

Related Resources for Florida Protective Orders Laws

Learn More About Florida Protective Orders Laws from an Attorney

A victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or any of the other types of offenses listed above, have the option of filing for a restraining order against the perpetrator. But, the person whom the protective order is filed against also has rights. If someone has filed a protective order against you, it's a good idea to speak with a local criminal defense attorney who can talk to you about Florida protective order laws and how they relate to your case.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select
Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options