If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic violence, you may feel that you have nowhere to turn. Fortunately, an attorney at Orner Law, LLC can help. After going to a safe place and seeking help from law enforcement if necessary, contacting a South Florida domestic violence lawyer at our firm is important. We can assist you in obtaining emergency protection from further contact or abuse by way of a domestic violence injunction.
Often referred to as restraining orders or orders of protection, a domestic violence injunction offers a domestic violence victim legal protection from further harm by prohibiting contact or certain conduct of the person named in the injunction. An injunction may apply to virtually any case of violence or abuse between family members, people who share a residence with one another, spouses, ex-spouses, people in an ongoing dating relationship, and more.
FILING A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INJUNCTION
“Domestic violence” is defined by Florida law to include a variety of both physically harmful and threatening conduct, including any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.
Although a victim of any of these crimes may pursue criminal charges against the abuser, he or she generally may do so only after the assault of other conduct has occurred. However, even if you have not yet been the victim of one of these crimes, you may be able to obtain a domestic violence injunction, provided you can demonstrate to a judge that you have reasonable cause to believe that you are in immediate danger of becoming a victim. In determining whether the threat against you is reasonable, the court will look at various factors, including evidence of the alleged abuser’s previous conduct, such as harassment or threats, as well as any prior history of abuse and the entry of prior domestic violence injunctions, even if you were not the victim.
Unlike some domestic relations laws, you need not meet a minimum residency requirement in order to seek a domestic violence injunction, so long as you reside in Florida when the petition is filed.
By petitioning for a domestic violence injunction, you may be able to get immediate relief and protection from your abuser. After the petition is filed, it will be reviewed promptly by a judge, who will decide whether there are adequate grounds for seeking protection. If the judge decides that there is an immediate and present danger of domestic violence, he or she may grant a temporary injunction. You will not have to testify at this stage, and the alleged abuser will ordinarily not be present. The temporary domestic violence injunction will be served on the alleged abuser, and will order him or her to refrain from contacting the victim in any way.
Because the alleged abuser is not given an opportunity to contest the temporary injunction, the longest time it can stay in effect is fifteen days. Within that time, there will be a hearing to determine whether to make the temporary injunction permanent. The accused is permitted to attend and be represented by an attorney, who may present evidence in his or her favor, as well as any testimony or other information that contradicts the story of the petitioner or any witnesses to the alleged abuse.
With offices in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, Orner Law, LLC serves clients throughout South Florida.
Contact a South Florida domestic violence injunction attorney at Orner Law, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation regarding your case.