Understanding Restraining Orders in Florida
Victims of domestic violence often feel helpless; however, protection from further abuse is available through the legal system. In Florida, a restraining order is called an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence.
Domestic violence may include coercion, emotional abuse, intimidation, physical violence, sexual abuse, and threats to harm the victim or those close to the victim. Domestic violence can only occur by the hand of a spouse or ex-spouse, relatives who live with or once lived with the victim, anyone who is the parent of the victim’s child, or anyone who currently lives in the same household.
Domestic violence has occurred if any of the following take place:
- Assault and aggravated assault
- Battery and aggravated battery
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault and battery
- Stalking and aggravated stalking
- Any activity that results in injury or death between those who live in the same household
The process for filing an Injunction for Protection involves filling out the required paperwork and submitting it to the appropriate department in the courthouse. This is generally the Clerk of the Circuit Court that is in the victim’s county. The victim should provide as many details as possible regarding the violent incident, as well as the date or dates the incidents occurred.
After the paperwork is turned in, a judge will evaluate it to determine whether the injunction should be granted. If substantial evidence is not present to warrant the injunction, the order may be denied. However, if the court is convinced that the victim is in immediate danger, it will order the injunction without prior notice to the perpetrator. In all other cases, the judge will issue a ruling within two days. If the injunction is approved, the perpetrator will be served with a temporary injunction notice by the sheriff’s office. A hearing will then be scheduled within 15 days so the judge can determine if the injunction should be extended.
Once the Injunction is processed, the aggressor will receive an order to stay away from the victim. Additionally, he or she may be asked to leave if the person lives in the same home. The injunction normally prohibits:
- Face-to-face visits
- Phone calls
- Physical contact of any kind
If the perpetrator does attempt to approach the victim, the police can arrest the person. However, the victim must be sure to keep his or her distance and avoid initiating contact. Contacting the other party can invalidate the injunction, as well as put the victim in further danger. The only exception to this is if the injunction allows for limited contact such as when children are involved.
Domestic violence situations can be difficult to handle. If you find yourself in such a situation, you may decide that hiring a lawyer can help relieve some of the stress of filing an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence. The Armstrong Law Group, P.A is available to help walk you through the process of filing the paperwork and attending any hearing that may be scheduled on your behalf. We will fight for your rights and offer you peace of mind that the case will be handled quickly and correctly. Call us today at 904-356-8618 or fill out our online contact form. We will get back to you within 24 hours.