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What is a Domestic Violence Injunction?

Published at March 25, 2020 by administrator.

A domestic violence injunction is one important way you can protect yourself if you are part of intimate partner abuse. Domestic violence is a common issue within the United States, and around the world. The CDC, Center for Disease Control, estimates 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will have some sort of experience with intimate partner abuse during their lifetimes.

There are usually personnel at your local courthouse who can help in filing a domestic violence injunction. However, it can be beneficial to seek the advice of an attorney from the beginning of the process. An attorney will walk you through the process step-by-step and keep you informed of everything that is going on. This is particularly true if you need to file an injunction before physical abuse has occurred (if threats are made but no physical abuse yet) as an attorney can be especially helpful in walking you through the process.

What is a Domestic Violence Injunction?

A domestic violence injunction is a petition filed with the court and sometimes called a restraining order. Anyone can file one when they believe themselves to be the victim of any act of domestic violence. The victim has to show that they have been the victim of domestic violence or that they are in imminent danger of becoming the victim of domestic violence.

Abusive behaviors involve one person gaining power over the other and can involve a variety of factors. The abuse can be sexual, physical, threats, or stalking. When children are involved, this abuse is called child abuse. When the elderly are involved, it’s called caregiver or elder abuse.

How Does the Legal Process Work?

Judge hitting gavel on a desk with glasses nearby.

It is important to remember that if you feel you need a domestic violence injunction, it does not require an attorney. However, retaining an attorney offers you greater assistance with the process and the peace of mind to explain each step to you, but it is not required. Your attorney works as your agent and can ease some of the unknowns in the process.

Your attorney (or you) can file a Petition for Injunction at the courthouse. After the Petition for Injunction is filed, a judge will review your Petition for Injunction and decide if it meets the requirements for a temporary injunction. This temporary domestic violence injunction will last up to 15 days (in the state of Florida).

An evidentiary hearing will be set within that 15-day time frame. The Sheriff will attempt to serve the person who the injunction is against. At the hearing, you have the opportunity to present your case why you believe a Permanent Injunction should be entered, and the person who the injunction is against has a chance to offer a defense. The judge will then decide if the injunction should be permanent after hearing the testimony from both parties.

Once the Permanent Injunction is set, it will be assigned for a term (between 1 to 5 years, usually). This means that there will be a no-contact order in place. The petitioner and the respondent will not be allowed to contact one another.

When Should You File a Domestic Violence Injunction?

Each State has different Statutes which will outline what a petitioner may seek protection from. The State of Florida, for example, has these various types of petitions:

  • Domestic Violence – This may involve spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood, persons related by marriage, persons who live together, and persons who have a child in common.
  • Dating Violence – Between two people who have or had a relationship of a romantic nature.
  • Repeat Violence – Incidents on two separate occasions with one occurring within the last six months.
  • Sexual Violence – Incident involving sexual battery, lewd acts, or in the presence of a person under the age of 16, luring or enticing a child, sexual performance by a child, forcible felony where a sexual act is committed.
  • Stalking – Repeated following, harassing, cyberstalking of one person.

How Can an Injunction Help You?

Domestic violence injunction protective order filing with a gavel.

The domestic violence injunction or court order will have other requirements which may help maintain your safety. When a permanent injunction is implemented, it will have rules about visitation with children, who remain in a shared home, child support or alimony, the surrendering of firearms, and possibly a batterers’ intervention program or counseling.

If at any point you become aware that the other party is not following through with the court order you can contact the police for assistance. The domestic violence injunction is there to protect you and is enforced fully by the local police and the Sheriff’s offices. If the respondent does not follow the order you can call 911 and report the violation and get immediate help. If the breach is not an emergency you can contact your lawyer or call the courthouse to file an Injunction Violation Affidavit.

Contact The Stafford Firm for a free consultation today! We can walk you through the process of getting a domestic violence injunction. You can reach us by calling (561) 540-4533 or visiting us at 2290 10th Avenue North, Suite 302, Lake Worth, Florida 33461.

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