Domestic Violence in Florida
The Florida Legislature defines domestic violence under Section 741.28(2):
“'Domestic violence' means 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.”
The Florida Legislature also defines family or household member under Section 741.28(3):
“'Family or household member' means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.”
What Is a Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence?
In the State of Florida, a person seeking a civil remedy to prohibit someone else from doing something or to prevent a person from contacting you, petition's the court for a civil remedy by obtaining an injunction. Commonly referred to as Restraining Orders, Florida provides the ability for one person, who is a victim of domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, stalking, and cyber stalking to petition the court for an injunction for protection against certain behavior. Although these types of injunctions are civil, if a person who is served with a temporary or permanent injunction violates the terms of that injunction, that person MAY be arrested and face criminal prosecution.
What Happens if I’m Served With an Injunction?
If you were served with a temporary injunction for protection against domestic violence you might need the help of a qualified attorney to help guide you through the remainder of the injunction process.
The first thing you need to understand if served with an injunction – and it is one of the most important – violating the terms of a civil injunction for protection against domestic violence MAY lead to criminal prosecution. If you are served with an injunction, it is very important to take the injunction seriously! Whether the injunction is temporary or permanent, people who have been served with an injunction can have serious consequences if the injunction is violated.
A few of these consequences may include:
- Not possessing or owning certain weapons and ammunition.
- Being forced to leave your home and vehicle with the Petitioner.
- Visitation or time-sharing with your children could be limited or stopped.
- Immigration status concerns.
- Employment concerns.
- Credit bureau concerns.
- Military or schooling difficulties.
- professional state issued licenses could be suspended or revoked.
How Many Types of Injunctions Are There?
In the State of Florida injunctions include:
- Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence
- Injunction for Protection Against Dating Violence
- Injunction for Protection Against Stalking
- Injunction for Protection Against Cyber Stalking
- Injunction for Protection Against Repeat Violence
Can a Person Seeking an Injunction Make False Statements Against Me?
Yes, however, there may be times when a person seeking an injunction against you is not telling the truth about what took place. It is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of a qualified attorney who handles injunctions to help guide you through the process. One of the reasons why this can occur is because a person seeking an injunction usually provides their own version of events first in an ex-parte or one-sided hearing. The courts have the discretion to issue a temporary injunction based on several factors, outlined in Section 741.30 Florida Statutes.
One of the factors within Section 741.30(5)(a), reads:
“If it appears to the court that an immediate and present danger of domestic violence exists, the court may grant a temporary injunction ex parte, pending a full hearing, and may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction: 1. Restraining the respondent from committing any acts of domestic violence. 2. Awarding to the petitioner the temporary exclusive use and possession of the dwelling that the parties share or excluding the respondent from the residence of the petitioner. 3. On the same basis as provided in s. 61.13, providing the petitioner a temporary parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which may award the petitioner up to 100 percent of the time-sharing. The temporary parenting plan remains in effect until the order expires or an order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction in a pending or subsequent civil action or proceeding affecting the placement of, access to, parental time with, adoption of, or parental rights and responsibilities for the minor child."
However, you are entitled to give your side of the story. If a temporary injunction is issued against you, the injunction is only in effect for a period of time and the Respondent is entitled to notice and a hearing. In Florida, if a temporary injunction is issued, the courts should set a return hearing within 15 days from the date of the issuance of the injunction.
Section 741.30(5)(c )states:
“Any such ex parte temporary injunction shall be effective for a fixed period not to exceed 15 days. A full hearing, as provided by this section, shall be set for a date no later than the date when the temporary injunction ceases to be effective. The court may grant a continuance of the hearing before or during a hearing for good cause shown by any party, which shall include a continuance to obtain service of process. Any injunction shall be extended if necessary, to remain in full force and effect during any period of continuance.”
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