How to Acquire an Injunction of Protection
If you have been the victim of domestic abuse or are being threatened by your partner, the law can offer you some degree of protection from your abuser. Domestic violence includes physical assault, threat of violence, stalking, harassment and/or destruction of property. A family law attorney experienced in domestic abuse law can be essential in moving quickly to bring you some measure of peace of mind while you are under the threat of violence. Below is an outline of the steps you and your attorney can take to acquire an injunction of protection in Florida.
File a request
There are four types of protective orders available in Florida, each related to the specific relationship between the assailant and the victim. One of the possible injunctions is a domestic violence injunction. If the person seeking the injunction has lived with the assailant at any time, or they share a child together, the circuit court can issue an injunction against domestic violence. A domestic violence injunction grants not only a physical safety zone for the victim and minor children, but also grants the victim and children the right to live in the home that was previously shared by the offending partner. If it is relevant, the court can also order temporary child support, spousal support and visitation, as deemed appropriate by the court. As soon as police have served the order, a temporary injunction is in effect.
Prepare for hearing
From the time the temporary injunction is served, there are about 15 days before a hearing. During these intermediary days it is important to gather testimony. This can include letters, phone records, email, and text messages or anything else that conveys a threat of violence. If there have been witnesses, take their statements and ask if they would be willing to testify in court. All testimony must be directly related to the accusations in the injunction petition.
Attend the hearing
Once the 15 days have elapsed, the petitioner goes before a judge. The judge reviews the statement and evidence. If the perpetrator is present, they are given an opportunity to object to the petition and cross-examine witnesses. The judge can grant a restraining order for a certain period or for life. If circumstances change, the person who requested the order can go back to court and ask to have it modified or canceled.
Never underestimate a threat of violence. If you are hurt or afraid, a family law attorney can help immediately. It’s essential you start the process of protecting yourself and your children as soon as possible.