Domestic Violence Injunctions
In Florida, crimes of violence against family members may give cause for a court-ordered injunction. For many individuals, navigating the process of a domestic violence injunction is easier with the assistance of qualified legal counsel. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg domestic violence attorneys understand that trustworthy legal guidance is important when dealing with sensitive issues of this nature, which can include allegations of abuse, stalking, and other criminal conduct. Our compassionate advocates can explain your rights as well as provide legal representation during the domestic violence injunction proceedings.Florida Domestic Violence Injunctions
Florida courts have authority to issue a restraining order to protect an individual from the threat of domestic violence within their household. This type of protective order is known as a domestic violence injunction. A domestic violence injunction may be sought by any family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence, or who has reasonable grounds to believe they are facing an imminent threat of becoming the victim of an act of domestic violence. Under Florida law, domestic violence encompasses criminal offenses such as stalking, assault, battery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual assault, and other crimes that result in the injury or death of one family or household member at the hands of another. It is also important to note that, in addition to a domestic violence injunction, other types of injunctions may arise out of domestic situations. A separate Florida law allows victims of repeat violence, dating violence, or sexual violence to seek an injunction against the alleged offenders.
To seek a domestic violence injunction in Florida, a sworn petition is filed against the respondent in the circuit court of the county where the petitioner resides, where the respondent resides, or where the domestic violence occurred. The court will schedule the matter for a hearing at the earliest possible time. In situations where there is a present and immediate danger of violence, the court may issue a temporary injunction on an ex parte basis, pending a full hearing, effective for a period of up to 15 days. The respondent must be personally served with the petition, notice of the hearing, and temporary injunction, if any.
At the hearing, the parties may present evidence and testify regarding the accusations of domestic violence, and your attorney can help you present your side. After hearing the evidence, if the court determines that either the petitioner is a victim of domestic violence, or is in imminent danger of becoming one, it may grant an injunction prohibiting the respondent from committing acts of domestic violence. The court may also may require the respondent to vacate the parties’ shared home, prohibit or limit the amount of time the respondent has custody of the parties’ children, order the respondent to participate in treatment or counseling services, order the respondent to make temporary support payments for the petitioner or for their minor children, and/or other relief depending on the circumstances.
Pursuing a domestic violence injunction is a civil cause of action. However, after the court grants a temporary or permanent injunction, violating the injunction is a criminal offense in Florida. A domestic violence injunction may be violated if the respondent commits an act of domestic violence or intentionally fails to comply with the injunction. A violation is generally a misdemeanor criminal offense. However, if the respondent has two or more prior convictions for violating an injunction against the same victim, the respondent may be charged with a third degree felony.Retain a St. Petersburg Attorney for a Domestic Violence Injunction
At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our defense lawyers can provide guidance regarding a domestic violence injunction in St. Petersburg. We have the experience and dedication to protect your interests if you have been served with an injunction or charged with domestic assault, battery, or another criminal offense. In addition to St. Petersburg, our criminal defense lawyers serve residents of Tampa Bay, Clearwater, and many other locations throughout Pinellas County. Schedule a free consultation by calling our office at (727) 286-6141 or submitting our online contact form.