Domestic Violence Injunctions
In 2018 there were more than 104,000 reported domestic violence incidents in Florida. More than 7,000 of those incidents occurred in Duval County. Outside of, and sometimes in addition to, criminal court, Florida provides a specific process for victims of domestic violence and those who believe they are in imminent danger of domestic violence to protect themselves. An Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence (sometimes known as a domestic violence restraining order) can create a safe-distance buffer for the petitioner by:
- Prohibiting the respondent from coming within 500 feet of the petitioner’s home, school, or workplace
- Prohibiting the respondent from knowingly going within 100 feet of the petitioner’s vehicle
- Prohibiting the respondent from contacting the petitioner
A domestic violence injunction may also provide other protections, including:
- Temporary exclusive possession of a previously-shared residence
- Temporary child support and/or alimony awards
- Temporary creation or adjustment of a parenting time-sharing schedule, including a temporary grant of 100% of the time to the petitioner
- A prohibition on damaging or destroying the petitioner’s property
- Requiring the respondent to seek counseling or participate in treatment
Who Can Petition for an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence?
To obtain a domestic violence restraining order in Florida, the petitioner and respondent must have–or have had–a certain type of relationship. Eligible relationships include:
- Former spouses
- People related by blood or marriage who live together or have lived together
- People who are living together or have lived together as a family
- People with children in common
If you believe you’re in imminent danger from another person and do not fall into one of these categories, don’t worry. Florida provides for five other types of protective injunctions. A Jacksonville injunction attorney can help you determine which type of restraining order might be appropriate under your circumstances.
Obtaining a Domestic Violence Injunction
When a petition for an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence is filed in Florida, the court may enter a temporary restraining order based on the information provided in the petition. Though the order may be entered without notice to the other party, it does not take effect until the respondent is served, since one cannot be expected to obey an order he or she does not know exists.
If a temporary restraining order is entered based on the petition, a hearing must be scheduled within 15 days. At the hearing, both parties can testify and present evidence, and the court will decide whether or not to enter a final injunction. If the judge decides that there is not enough evidence to enter a temporary injunction based on the allegations alleged in the petition, the court may still schedule a hearing on the petition. If sufficient evidence is presented at the hearing, the court may enter the injunction at that time.
Whether you are the person requesting the injunction or the person who has been served with a temporary restraining order, it is very important that you attend this hearing. If you filed the petition for a domestic violence injunction and do not show up for the hearing, your petition will be dismissed and no injunction will be entered. If you already received a temporary injunction, it will be terminated. If you are the respondent and do not appear at the hearing, you will miss your chance to present your own evidence and testimony. The injunction may be entered against you even though you are not there.
An experienced Jacksonville restraining order attorney can help you prepare for the hearing and assemble the evidence you need to present the clearest and most convincing case possible.
Domestic Violence Injunction Violations
Violation of a domestic violence injunction is a serious issue. If someone alleges you have violated a domestic violence injunction, contact an attorney right away. If you weren’t represented by an attorney at the injunction hearing, it is in your best interest to consult an experienced restraining order attorney as soon as possible.
A person who violates a restraining order can be held in contempt of court, and the consequences can be unpredictable. Florida judges have broad discretion about how to punish contempt of court. But, that’s not the only risk. Violating a domestic violence injunction is also a crime in Florida. That means violation can lead to jail time, probation, fines, and other consequences–including a criminal record.
Talk to a Jacksonville Injunction Attorney
Whether you’re seeking a domestic violence injunction, have been served with notice of a hearing on a domestic violence restraining order, need to enforce a restraining order, or have been accused of violating an injunction, you don’t have to face the complicated and often stressful process alone. To learn more about how the injunction attorneys at Johnson & Lufrano, P.A. can help, schedule your free consultation right now. Just call 904-513-3905 or fill out our contact form right now.