Domestic violence in Florida should not go unreported. If you are the victim of domestic violence, it is important first to get yourself safe. Immediately call 9-1-1, your local domestic violence hotline, or Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119. Once you are safe, it is important to consult an experienced domestic violence attorney as soon as possible to protect yourself and your family. Conversely, if you are falsely accused of domestic violence, contact a domestic violence attorney right away. A false domestic violence allegation can have devastating consequences if not properly defended.
Domestic Violence in Florida
According to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, over 100,000 domestic violence cases are reported each year in Florida. Unfortunately, many more incidents go unreported every year. Although Florida’s overall crime rate has been decreasing in recent years, domestic violence rates have remained the same. Under Florida law, domestic violence is any assault, battery, stalking, false imprisonment, or criminal offense that results in a member of the family or household’s physical injury or death. See Florida Law 784.046.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, get help, don’t wait. An attorney can help with the legal process and navigating the court process. However, in many instances, the police should be involved as well. If you are fearful for your safety, contact the police. Most often, they are in a better position to help than a family law attorney can. Further, a Florida domestic violence injunction is more likely to be granted when police officers corroborate violence claims.
Injunctions/ No Contact Order
There are many different charges and legal options to consider for protection against domestic violence. See Florida Statute 741. For instance, injunctions and restraining orders may be your first step in a domestic violence case. Although there is a similar “no-contact order” in criminal court, these are requested through a family court. Seeking a restraining order or injunction can protect against assault, threats, harassment, stalking, and other unwanted domestic violence forms. A family law attorney in Tampa can assist with the injunction, but it is not required to hire an attorney.
How to File a Domestic Violence Injunction in Florida
Under Florida law, Domestic violence is any assault, battery, sexual assault, or sexual battery. Additionally, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or a criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death can be domestic violence. See Florida Law 741.28. Also, actual violence is not necessary for an injunction to be granted. An injunction may be granted if the victim has reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent domestic violence danger. See Florida Statute 741.30.
An injunction can protect against assault, threats, harassment, stalking, and other unwanted forms of domestic violence. Petitioning for an injunction can be difficult, and you should consider consulting with a family law attorney in Tampa for assistance. Generally, you should not plead “naked allegations”; instead, include specific facts. An experienced family law attorney can help walk you through filing a domestic violence injunction in Florida.
Marriage is Not Required for an Injunction
You do not need to be married to the defendant to receive a domestic violence injunction. Family or household member includes spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage are eligible. Additionally, people who are presently residing together as a family or who have resided together as a family in the past are included. Also, if you share children, it may fall under domestic violence. See Branson v. Rodriguez. Except for a child’s parents, the parties must be currently residing together or have resided together in the past as a family.
Florida Domestic Violence Injunction with Minor Children
If the two parties have children together, a Florida domestic violence injunction with minor children may be appropriate. If granted, the aggressor can be prevented from communicating with the children. The injunction may be granted even granted though there are no allegations of violence against the children. This is significant because it can help protect children from domestic violence. On the other hand, innocent parents may be denied access to see and speak with their children. If you are the victim of domestic violence or falsely accused, you should contact an experienced family law attorney in Tampa for assistance.
In Florida domestic violence injunction cases involving children, the judge must put the child’s safety and abused parent first. If an injunction is issued, it will limit communication between parties and can require supervised visitation. Unreported domestic violence can also harm future child custody cases as well. See Florida Child Custody Law 61.13. Parents have a responsibility to protect their children. Florida judges do not look favorably on parents who fail to report situations in which children were exposed to abuse and harmful influences.
False Florida Domestic Violence Injunctions
If a false injunction has been filed against you, contact a family law attorney. Too often, people falsely accused of domestic violence ignore the injunction. Failure by the accused to provide sufficient evidence in defense will typically result in the injunction being granted. See Hickey v. Burlinson. The types of evidence and testimony used to defend against an injunction will vary based on each case’s specifics. If you need assistance, contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer for advice on submitting evidence in your case.
Consult a 5-Star Tampa Family Law Firm
Domestic violence is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. Whether you are being falsely accused or need an attorney to help protect your safety, Florida Law Advisers can help. The domestic violence attorneys at our firm are passionate about these matters and have years of experience in these cases. To speak with a family law attorney at our firm, call us at 800 990 7763.