Do I Need A Domestic Violence Injunction?
While domestic violence can be either a civil or criminal matter in Florida, domestic violence injunctions fall squarely under the purview of the civil courts. This means that someone who has had a domestic violence injunction issued against them won’t necessarily have a criminal record based on that incident. Violating an injunction, however, can result in criminal penalties, including jail time and the creation of a criminal record.
Domestic violence injunctions can have far-reaching repercussions for the parties involved, so if you need help filing a petition, or have been unfairly accused of committing domestic violence against a loved one, you should think about reaching out to an experienced Clearwater domestic violence lawyer for help before moving forward with your case.
Who Can Ask the Court for an Injunction?
A petition for a domestic violence injunction can be filed by anyone who has been the victim of domestic violence, or has reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming so. To qualify for protection under a domestic violence injunction, the petitioner must be seeking protection from a spouse, former spouse, relative (by blood or marriage), a former or current cohabitant, or co-parent.
How Do I Obtain an Injunction?
Unlike domestic battery or assault, which are criminal charges, domestic violence injunctions are civil in nature. This means that petitioners can request an injunction by filing the proper paperwork with the local court. Once the petition is submitted, a judge assigned to the domestic violence division will review the request and if he or she deems the petitioner to be in danger, will issue a temporary injunction against the respondent that same day. Whether granted or denied, the judge will then schedule a hearing on the matter. At this hearing, the judge will hear the parties’ evidence and decide whether to sustain a temporary injunction, making it final for a certain amount of time, or to dismiss the petition entirely.
What Kinds of Protections Does an Injunction Offer?
If granted, a domestic violence injunction can protect petitioners from a respondent by barring the latter from having any contact with them, either in-person, via electronic communication, or through a third party. These orders can also prohibit a respondent from coming near a petitioner’s home or workplace, can award custody and financial support, and can require a respondent to attend a batterers’ intervention program. The protections will remain in place either until the injunction is changed or ended by the judge at either party’s request, or after a certain amount of time has passed, usually ranging from between one and five years.
Clearwater Domestic Violence Lawyers
At Cairns Law, our Clearwater legal team is dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence protect themselves from a violent relative or partner. We are happy to meet during the evening, as well as on weekends, so if you think you could benefit from the protection of a domestic violence injunction, please call our office at 727-683-1472 and set up a consultation today.