Restraining orders in Florida may be filed for some types of violence. There are four types of civil injunctions for protection, also known as restraining orders or protection orders:
- Domestic Violence
- Repeat Violence
- Dating Violence
- Sexual Violence
If you are thinking about filing a restraining order, you need the knowledge and experience of a qualified Miami restraining order lawyer.
Domestic Violence Restraining Order
Domestic violence restraining orders are filed to prevent any furthers acts of violence, and they require specific criteria to be fulfilled to meet the definition of domestic violence. If your circumstances diverge from a standard domestic violence case – if, for example, you do not live with the person you are serving with a restraining order – then the other three types of injunction may come into play.
Repeat Violence Restraining Order
Florida law defines repeat violence as two incidents of violence or stalking, one of which must have occurred within the last six months, which are directed against the Petitioner (the person applying for the injunction) or the petitioner's immediate family.
Dating Violence Restraining Order
Dating violence is violence between individuals who have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship is determined by the consideration of two factors:
- The dating relationship must have existed within the last six months.
- The law states that the relationship must be characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties, and the interaction between them has been on a continuous basis during the relationship.
This does not include casual relationships or violence between individuals who have only engaged in ordinary interaction in a business or social context.
Sexual Violence Restraining Order
This restraining order can be obtained for protection against sexual violence if you are the victim of sexual violence or you are the parent or legal guardian of a minor child living at home who is the victim of sexual violence. Under this Florida law, sexual violence means:
- Sexual battery
- A lewd or lascivious act committed on a person under age 16
- Sexual performance by a child
- Any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted
It is important to note that for a sexual violence injunction, it does not matter if criminal charges based on the incident were filed, reduced or dismissed by the State Attorney. The law does require that the sexual violence has been reported to a law enforcement agency and that the victim is cooperating with any criminal proceeding against the respondent.
How to Begin
If you have been served with a restraining order, you need a lawyer to go to court and speak on your behalf. Countless respondents are saddled with a Final Injunction every year simply because they opt to represent themselves – and fail in the process. Working with an experienced lawyer is the surest way to protect yourself from a one-sided hearing.
Serve Your Attacker
Of course, if you want to file an injunction against your violent partner, an experienced attorney can assist with that as well. A series of simple steps are required:
- File a Petition for the Restraining Order
- Receive a Temporary Restraining Order from a judge – valid 15 days after the respondent is served
- Attend a court hearing to determine if a Final Restraining Order will be entered. This is where your lawyer subpoenas any and all witnesses that can help your case and establish the history of abuse, as well as any pictures and other documents to solidify your argument.
- Final Restraining Order awarded, which can last anywhere from months to a permanent state
Contact a Professional
If you are thinking about getting a restraining order in Miami or have been served with a restraining order, please contact me today to review your options. I offer extensive domestic violence experience and I am prepared for every contingency to ensure your interests are protected, and your safety is secured.