Other Legal Protections for Domestic Violence

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, you need a lawyer who is familiar with all the legal protections available and can help you use them to protect yourself, your family and your interests if you are also filing for divorce.

If you need this kind of help and support, contact me, Alan R. Burton, a Boca Raton domestic violence and divorce lawyer. I have over 35 years of experience handling sensitive matters in a discreet and productive way. I offer a free initial and confidential consultation to learn about your situation and advise how I may be able to help.

Next Legal Steps for Domestic Assault Protection and Injunction Orders

Once at the courthouse to pursue a protective order because of a domestic violence or abuse altercation, you would complete the paperwork necessary to apply for an ex parte emergency temporary injunction. You do not have to worry about creating complicated legal petitions or paperwork. The court will provide you with standardized forms. All you need to do is fill in the information that is requested on the form, and answer everything truthfully and honestly. After completing your paperwork, you will be sworn by the clerk to verify that all the information you have included in your petition is true and correct.

After your paperwork has been completed, the court will submit your petition to a judge for review. If a judge determines that you have been a victim of violence or are in imminent danger of becoming a victim, based upon the allegations you have made in your petition, the judge will grant your petition for an ex parte temporary injunction.

This injunction will be served by the Sheriff on the respondent named in the petition. Included in the injunction will be a court case that both you and the respondent will be required to attend, which must occur within 15 days from the date the judge signed the temporary injunction.

You must show up at the scheduled court date in order to avoid a dismissal of your temporary injunction. If the respondent, after having been properly served with notice of the proceeding, fails to appear in court, the permanent injunction will be granted. If both of you show up in court, and the respondent is challenging the allegations in your petition, the court will conduct an evidentiary hearing, listen to all the witnesses involved, and make a ruling as to whether or not a permanent injunction is in order and justified. As your attorney, I will advocate on your behalf at this proceeding.

Other Types of Legal Protections if You Are in an Abusive Relationship

There are also other statutes available to victims of varying types of violence. For example, there is a statute that you can file under if you are the victim of repeat violence. This particular statute requires two incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, which have been directed against you, as the petitioner, or members of your immediate family. An important aspect of this statute is that one of the two incidents of violence or stalking must have occurred within six months from the date of filing your petition.

You also have a right to obtain a temporary injunction, if there is an immediate and present danger of violence. The court will not take any testimony at this point in time, but will make its determination solely based upon the sworn allegations in the petition.

Once again just like in the domestic violence statute, the court will schedule a hearing within 15 days from the date that the court issues a temporary injunction.

Florida also has a statute that affords a person protection against stalking. Stalking is defined as conduct by a person who willfully, and repeatedly, follows, harasses or cyberstalks another person. The court may also grant a temporary injunction for protection against stalking, just as it does under the other protection statutes noted.

There is also another statute that would offer you protection from dating violence. In order to qualify for protection under this particular statute, there must have been violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined by the court based upon consideration of various factors, including the following:

  • A dating relationship must have existed.
  • The nature of the relationship must have been characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties.
  • The frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship must have included that the persons have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. Obviously this statute does not apply to those involved in a casual, short-term relationship.

There is one final statute for protection available to those who are victims of sexual violence. The statute states that only one incident of sexual battery or a lewd or lascivious act committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 years of age is required.

Contact Alan Robert Burton, Attorney at Law

Call or email my office today to schedule your free initial consultation. I maintain offices in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-229-1660 or my cell at 954-295-9222. I maintain flexible office hours to accommodate your schedule and to discuss your family law issues.