Few things are more frightening than violence or the threat of violence against you or your children. When that violence or threat comes from a spouse or member of your family, you may be even more afraid and not know how to protect yourself and your family. Fortunately, Florida law provides protections for residents who are victims of domestic violence in an attempt to keep them safe from their volatile family member. This protection comes in the form of an Injunction for Protection, and is often referred to as an order of protection or a restraining order.
What Exactly Is Domestic Violence?
Before you apply for an Injunction, you should be aware of the law’s definition of domestic violence. Florida law defines domestic violence as any of the following actions against a family or other household member:
- Sexual assault
- Any criminal offense resulting in injury
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated stalking
- False imprisonment
- Any criminal offense resulting in death
The law also defines “family or household member” as any of the following:
- Spouses or former spouses;
- Two people related by marriage or blood;
- People living together as a family, or who previously lived together as a family in a
- single housing unit; or
- Parents of the same child, whether they are married, divorced, or were never
If you have suffered any of the above actions, or have a reasonable fear that you are in immediate danger of one of the above actions by a family or household member as described above, you may file a petition for an Injunction for Protection with the court. You do not have to be seeking a separation or divorce or criminal charges against the spouse of family member to qualify for court protection. A judge may award a temporary Injunction without the presence of the other party if the judge deems it necessary.
A temporary Injunction prohibits the offender from any further acts or threats of violence against you, may order them to leave if you share a residence, can prohibit them from showing up at your home, work, or school, and can also award you temporary custody of any minor children who may be involved. Your immediate Injunction is only temporary, however, and in order to obtain a final Injunction, you will have to attend a full hearing in front of a judge. The other party will be able to present their own case against an injunction at this hearing, so it is always important that you have the assistance of an attorney.
If you have been the victim of domestic violence, your first move should call the police or otherwise make sure you and your children are safe. However, your next step should be to contact the Boca Raton law office of domestic violence attorney Alan R. Burton. Mr. Burton can help domestic violence victims obtain an Injunction for Protection and can help to enforce that Injunction to ensure you and your children are safe from harm. Dealing with domestic violence can be difficult, but you do not have to face the issue alone. Call dedicated attorney Alan Burton today for help.
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