Violence in a domestic relationship can be a very dangerous situation for the spouse, child, or other family members who are being abused. If you or others are being subjected to violence in your household or being stalked by a former family member or romantic partner, a Tampa domestic violence attorney with Florida Law Advisers can take immediate action to help protect you from further abuse.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, we urge you to contact our law office in Tampa, FL, for help obtaining a domestic violence protection order (also called a restraining order) and a referral to local organizations for further assistance, such as a safe shelter. We can offer you confidential legal advice to help put an end to domestic violence and abuse.
Contact us now online or at (844) 265-2165 or come to our offices at 1120 E Kennedy Blvd, Unit 231, in Tampa, for help. If you are in immediate danger, phone 911 for law enforcement personnel.
What To Do if You’re a Victim of Domestic Violence
Anyone who is the victim of any act of domestic violence or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of domestic violence in Florida may petition the court for a domestic violence injunction – a restraining order. An injunction is a court order that directs a person not to have any contact with you.
Restraining orders are available for protection against:
- Domestic violence
- Repeat violence
- Sexual violence
- Dating violence
You may seek a domestic violence injunction in Hillsborough County at:
- Family Law Department on the first floor of the George E. Edgecomb Courthouse at 800 E. Twiggs St., Tampa
- Plant City Courthouse Annex, 301 N. Michigan Avenue, Plant City
The courts recommend that you contact your local domestic violence center for safety planning prior to filing for an injunction.
How Can Our Domestic Violence Lawyers Help You?
While Florida courts do not require you to have a lawyer to obtain a domestic violence injunction, a knowledgeable lawyer from Florida Law Advisors knows the process for obtaining protective orders. Our law firm has extensive legal experience standing up for victims of domestic violence. An experienced attorney can assist you at every step of the process. Our professional and compassionate legal team will make sure you are well-informed and adequately protected during every step necessary to escape domestic abuse.
We can petition the court on your behalf to issue a protective order. The order may establish the following requirements:
- Restrain the respondent (the abuser) from contacting you at your home, place of business and/or school
- Require the immediate removal of the alleged aggressor from the victim’s home and award the person seeking protection temporary exclusive use of the home
- Award you temporary custody of children and order the respondent to provide you with temporary child support and alimony
- Order the respondent to participate in a batterer’s intervention course and/or substance abuse counseling and psychological evaluations
- Require the respondent to surrender weapons to law enforcement.
After a petition for a domestic violence injunction has been filed, it is forwarded to a judge. If the judge grants a temporary injunction, the court will schedule a hearing within 15 days to determine whether to issue a permanent injunction. At that hearing, the respondent will be allowed to present evidence as to why the injunction or parts of it (such as child support requirements) should be denied.
As your attorneys, we will help you gather and prepare evidence and witnesses to support your allegations of spousal abuse or domestic violence and obtain a permanent injunction that helps to ensure your safety and ability to move forward with your life. We will be ready to aggressively question or cross-examine any evidence or testimony the respondent provides. You do not have to go through this alone.
What Are Florida Domestic Violence Laws?
Under Florida statutes, “domestic violence” means any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member, including:
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated stalking
- False imprisonment.
“Family members and household members include:
- Former spouses
- Persons related by blood or marriage
- Persons who are currently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family
- Persons who are parents of a child in common, regardless of whether they have been married.
With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
Florida’s legal definition of dating violence is “violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The dating relationship must have existed within the past six months with the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties.”
Types of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence cases may include specific acts of domestic and dating violence, such as:
- Physical Abuse — Pushing, slapping, kicking, punching, hair pulling, strangling, excessively squeezing or shaking, twisting arms, burning the abuse target’s flesh or hair, or intentionally injuring the abuse target in any way.
- Emotional Abuse — Verbal intimidation or credible threats, calling names, following and stalking, acting with extreme jealousy and possessiveness, isolating the abuse target from family and friends, threatening to commit suicide and/or to kill the abuse target, controlling the abuse target’s money, withholding medical help, gaslighting (manipulating someone into questioning their own perception of reality).
- Sexual Abuse — Any unwanted touching or forcing of someone to engage in a sexual act against his or her will, demanding sex or unwanted sexual practices, threatening to “out” someone (truthfully or falsely) as lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transsexual, transgendered, etc.
Contact a Domestic Violence Attorney in Tampa for Help
Florida Law Advisers, P.A., is dedicated to protecting victims of domestic violence from further acts of physical violence, bodily injury, and psychological abuse. At Florida Law Advisers, P.A., you can count on the support you deserve and strong advocacy of your legal rights as you navigate the legal system to obtain protection and relief from further violence.
Contact a compassionate domestic violence lawyer in Tampa today for immediate assistance and/or referrals, and to learn more about how we can help ensure your safety and prevent further domestic abuse. Reach out for quick and confidential help at (844) 771-4322 or online, or come directly to our Tampa offices.