Domestic Violence Injunctions in Florida: The Need to Know Basics
An injunction against domestic violence (also referred to as a “restraining order”) is a court order that directs a specific person (the respondent) not to have any contact with you (the petitioner), and is one important measure that can help protect you against threats or acts of violence. In Florida, a Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence can be filed against anyone who is either currently living with you, or previous lived with you, as family. In this case the term “family” includes people you are related to by blood or marriage including your:
- Aunt or uncle,
- Boyfriend or girlfriend with whom you are intimately involved and are living with,
- Boyfriend or girlfriend with whom you were previously intimately involved and lived with,
- Adopted child,
- Stepchild, or
- Child’s parent.
The Benefits of Obtaining a Domestic Violence Injunction
Domestic violence injunctions in Florida are tailored to provide specific relief that the court deems necessary given the nature and circumstances surrounding the alleged acts, or threats, of domestic violence. According to the First Judicial Court of Florida’s website, injunctions often:
- Restrain the respondent from committing any further acts of domestic violence against the petitioner,
- Award the petitioner temporary and exclusive use of a residence shared by the respondent and the petitioner,
- Address issues related to support and timesharing of the petitioner and respondent’s shared children,
- Order the respondent to take a batterer’s intervention course, and/or
- Require the respondent to surrender any firearms that they are in possession of.
Violating a domestic violence injunction in Florida is a criminal offense under the Florida Statutes section 741.31. Violators can easily be charged with a first degree misdemeanor and sentenced to pay a fine of up to $1,000 and/or spend up to one year in jail. Additionally, if multiple violations of the injunction occur, and these violations are calculated to harass or threaten the protected party, then the violator can be charged with the felony offense of aggravated stalking.
Other Injunctions Available in Florida
If you would like to obtain a protective order in Florida and are not eligible to obtain a domestic violence injunction you should be aware that other types of injunctions are also available in Florida. For example, you may be able to obtain a:
- Repeat violence injunction if you have experienced two or more incidents of physical violence, threats of violence, or stalking (at least one of which has occurred within the last six months),
- Sexual violence injunction if you have been the victim of certain types of sexual violence, reported the violence to law enforcement officials, and are assisting with any resulting criminal case, or
- Dating violence injunction if you have been the victim of dating violence and reasonably believe that you are in imminent danger or being victimized again.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
Here at the Madonna Law Group we are more than just divorce lawyers, we are family law attorneys who understand that family law matters extend far beyond divorces and unfortunately sometimes involve serious incidents of domestic violence. We are here to help and would be happy to discuss your legal options with you during a confidential consultation. To schedule your appointment contact our Dade City office at (800) 557-0411 or fill out our online contact form.