Restraining Orders in Florida
Domestic Violence Attorney in Ocala
domestic violence is defined as any assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking,
kidnapping, or other criminal offense that results in the physical injury
or death of a family or household member committed by another family or
household member. If you are the victim of domestic violence, you can
apply for a restraining order or an injunction against domestic violence.
At the law office of Ami L. DiLorenzo, P.A., we are serious about domestic
violence and will act aggressively to protect you and your rights.
Contact us today for a free consultation at (352) 437-2200.
Restraining Orders and Injunctions Available
There are two types of injunctions against domestic violence in the state
of Florida: temporary injunctions and final injunctions.
Temporary Injunctions: Also referred to as an ex parte injunction, this court order is intended
to provide a petitioner or other family members with immediate protection
from an abuser. Upon filing a petition for protection against domestic
violence, a clerk will give the petition to a judge who will decide if
there is an immediate and present danger of domestic violence. It will
take effect as soon as the abuser is served with a copy of the order.
It will not last more than 15 days unless a judge grants a continuance.
Final Injunctions: At the full hearing, which will take place before the 15 days end on the
temporary injunction, a judge will decide whether a final injunction is
warranted. If granted, the final injunction will last longer than 15 days,
providing more protection than the temporary injunction. It is possible
for it to either have a set period or no expiration date at all. If there
is no expiration date, the abuser can request the court to modify or dissolve
it, which a judge may or may not grant, depending on the circumstances.
In addition to restraining orders against domestic violence, Florida provides
four other types of restraining orders:
Repeat Violence Injunctions: Restraining orders against domestic violence only protects victims who
face violence or abuse at the hands of family members. Repeat violence
restraining orders, however, provide protection in situations where an
abuser is neither a family member nor a member of the household. If anyone
commits two or more acts of violence or stalking against an individual
or an immediate family member, such as children, and one of those acts
was committed within the past six months, that person would be eligible
for this type of restraining order.
Dating Violence Injunctions: Similar to domestic violence restraining orders, this type of restraining
order is for situations wherein the victim suffers abuse at the hands
of someone who is not a member of the household, but rather is someone
with whom the victim has engaged in an ongoing romantic relationship within
the past six months. If a boyfriend or girlfriend has committed any act
of violence against their partner, or has given their partner reason to
believe they are in immediate danger, a dating violence restraining order
can provide some protection.
Sexual Violence Injunctions: Regardless if the victim engaged in an ongoing relationship with the perpetrator
within the past six months, if anyone commits any act of sexual violence
against another, the victim is eligible for a sexual violence restraining
order. Given that sexual violence is an incredibly broad category, the
key requirement to obtain this restraining order is that the victim must
have reported the incident to law enforcement officials and must cooperate
with a criminal investigation against the perpetrator.
Stalking or Cyberstalking Injunctions: In the state of Florida, stalking is defined as repeated, malicious harassment
that has no purpose other than to cause the victim emotional distress.
Similarly, cyberstalking is defined as repeated electronic communication
that causes emotional distress and does not serve a legitimate purpose.
Harassment can also include issuing threats, the destruction of property,
intentionally harming a pet, and more. As such, there are many situations
that warrant a stalking or cyberstalking restraining order.
How to Obtain a Restraining Order in Florida
Once you decide on the type of restraining order you need, the next step
is to prepare the petition and to file it in court. The petition will
ask for personal information about the petitioner and the respondent,
including the address, current place of employment, information regarding
any children (if applicable), and a physical description of the respondent
to assist police in identifying him or her. The most critical portion
of this petition is the paragraph wherein you are asked to describe the
allegations against the respondent. Once you file the petition, a judge
will review it immediately and, if it meets the requirements under Florida
law, you will be granted a temporary restraining order that is valid for 15 days.
The next step in this process is the court hearing, which is usually scheduled
near the end of your temporary restraining order’s expiration date.
If the respondent cannot be located within this timeframe, the restraining
order will be extended. To prepare for the hearing, you and your attorney
should be working together to gather witnesses, phone records, or any
other evidence pertinent to the situation.
At the hearing, the judge will rule based on facts and evidence presented
and, if the respondent is present, he or she will be given a chance to
cross examine any witnesses or object to the introduction of evidence.
Once both sides rest their case, the judge will rule on the petition and
on custody or visitation issues, if applicable. The restraining order
that is granted can either be for life or for a specified period of time.
Effective Representation in Matters of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence affects the emotional and physical states of the individuals
involved. At the law office of Ami L. DiLorenzo, P.A., we represent both
the petitioning spouse and the respondent in legal proceedings in the
Marion County area and throughout Florida. The process of filing a restraining
order or an injunction can be a difficult and delicate process. Our
Ocala Family Law Attorney is dedicated to finding the best solution for you and your loved ones.
Contact our office today to get started or call (352) 437-2200.