What Is a Risk Protection Order?
If you need The Villages risk protection order defense lawyer, Washo Law Firm can help. You might be wondering “What is a Risk Protection Order (RPO)?” Law enforcement authorities can submit an RPO petition if they believe a person poses a considerable risk of harming themselves or others with a handgun or ammunition. Once the petition is filed, the officer or agency is the “petitioner” while the “respondent” is the person against whom they are filing the order.
The petition must be completed in the county where the law enforcement officer is located or where the responder lives. The petition must also be backed by an affidavit that lists the precise comments, actions, or circumstances that caused reasonable fear of harmful behavior from the respondent and list all firearms and ammunition the petitioner believes the respondent might possess.
What Happens if Someone Files an RPO?
If you are wondering what happens if someone files an RPO, Florida legislature has established a procedure known as a petition for a Risk Protection Order (RPO), which can be submitted by law enforcement to allege that an individual poses a considerable risk of causing injury to themself or others if he/she has custody or access to guns.
The petition initiates an RPO procedure in the courts, which may result in a hearing to determine whether the individual must surrender their firearms to law authorities. Before the hearing, a temporary order can be obtained, allowing police enforcement to seize the guns pending the court’s determination on whether to award a final risk protection order.
How Long Do Risk Protection Orders Last?
The court must decide within 14 days if there is clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a significant danger to themselves or others by possessing firearms or ammunition. If there is persuasive proof of risk, a Risk Protection Order will be granted. The court may prolong an RPO for as long as it deems necessary up to and including but not exceeding 12 months.
An RPO can be filed due to recent acts or threats of violence, evidence of severe mental illness, violations of previous risk protection orders or injunctions, the existence of previous or current risk protection orders, prior convictions for domestic violence, use or threats to use weapons, unlawful or reckless display of firearms, frequent use or threats to use physical force against others, evidence of stalking, or prior convictions for any crimes involving firearms.
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Can You Beat a Risk Protection Order?
Under Florida’s red flag law, judges may order certain people at risk of gun violence to surrender their firearms. You must show up at the hearing and tell the judge your side of the story. You aren’t required to have a lawyer (and the state of Florida won’t provide one for you), but it would be in your best interest to hire an RPO attorney to represent you at the hearing.
A lawyer who has experience with handling restraining orders can help you gather and present evidence to show that you are not a risk. If a Risk Protection Order is granted, you may petition the court to have it vacated. Requesting one will result in another hearing and allow you to make a case about why the initial evidence or hearing was flawed.
Local Defense Attorneys
Find a Risk Protection Order Attorney in The Villages, FL
Washo Law is a team of experience RPO lawyers who understands the system and how to fight for your rights under Florida law. There is a lot of subjectivity and complexity involved in carrying out a risk protection order. Our attorneys work hard to ensure that every client achieve the best possible outcome and avoid criminal charges whenever possible.
Our office is conveniently located next to the Lake County Jail and Lake County Courthouse in Sumter County. If you have been served with a restraining order and in need of a qualified lawyer, schedule a consultation with a The Villages criminal defense attorney, The Villages sex crimes defense attorney, The Villages child pornography defense attorney, or The Villages injunctions for protection defense attorney.