Obtaining a Dating Violence Injunction
When many people think of domestic violence they imagine abuse between spouses or even couples who share children. While conflict between individuals in these kinds of relationships does account for a significant number of domestic violence cases, these are by no means the only circumstances that can lead to a domestic violence injunction. In fact, Florida law specifically recognizes a type of domestic violence called dating violence that applies in cases where the parties involved are not married, do not live together, and don’t share children.
Individuals in these relationships who find themselves in a dangerous situation can still request an injunction, or restraining order, from a court, although in these cases, the petitioner will need to specifically request a dating violence injunction. To learn more about the process of obtaining this kind of restraining order or how to defend oneself against unfair allegations of dating violence, please call one of our experienced Clearwater domestic violence lawyers today.
What is Dating Violence?
Under Florida law, dating violence is defined as any violence that occurs between two people who have a continuing relationship of a significant or intimate nature, or who had such a relationship in the past. Whether a relationship satisfies this definition is determined by the application of a series of factors, including:
- Whether the relationship existed in the past six months;
- Whether the nature of the relationship was characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual relations; and
- The frequency and type of interactions between the parties, including whether the parties were involved on a continuous basis.
This definition generally excludes cases that involve violence between those involved in casual relationships or violence between individuals who have only seen each other casually in a business or social context.
Requesting a Dating Violence Injunction
If a petitioner can prove that a relationship satisfies this definition, he or she can pursue a dating violence injunction. In fact, these injunctions can even be requested by a victim’s parents, but only if the child is a minor. In either case, a dating violence injunction will only be granted in certain cases, namely when the petitioner can prove that:
- He or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of dating violence; or
- He or she was already the victim of dating violence and is in imminent danger of becoming so again.
If this burden is met, courts can place a wide range of restrictions on the respondent, or alleged offender. This could include everything from a prohibition of going within 500 of the petitioner’s home, work, or school to the mandatory relinquishment of any firearms. Respondents who fail to abide by these restrictions face serious penalties, including hefty fines, jail time, and the implementation of even more severe restrictions.
Do You Need Legal Advice?
At Cairns Law, our experienced Clearwater domestic violence lawyers represent clients who are seeking restraining orders as well as those who have been unfairly accused of committing domestic violence. Please call our office today at 727-683-1472 to learn more about how we can help.