If you feel you are the victim of domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, dating violence, or stalking, you should consult with us immediately or contact the office of the clerk of the circuit court in your county or the local domestic violence shelter for information and assistance.
We also defend individuals against claims of domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, dating violence, or stalking. Injunctions for protection can have serious consequences. Individuals against whom an injunction is entered may not possess a firearm or ammunition. Additionally, an injunction may be enforced through civil or criminal contempt proceedings or prosecuted as a criminal violation. An injunction is also a public record that can affect a person’s employment and freedom to travel. These are serious allegations and can significantly affect an individual’s future. It is imperative that litigants fully understand the consequences that flow from injunctions.
If you are petitioning for an injunction or defending against an injunction, our Orlando family law attorneys would be happy to assist you.
Domestic Violence Injunctions
To obtain an injunction for protection against domestic violence, you must prove that you were either the victim of domestic violence or had reasonable cause to believe that you were in imminent danger of becoming a victim of an act of domestic violence. The purpose of an injunction for protection against domestic violence is to protect victims from violence. The purpose is not to punish or get revenge upon a former or current spouse for an isolated incident that occurred years prior to filing the injunction, where there is no reasonable ongoing fear of domestic violence. An isolated incident of domestic violence that occurred years before a petition for injunction is filed will not usually support the issuance of an injunction in the absence of additional current allegations.
“Domestic violence” is defined as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.
When considering whether there is a reasonable cause to fear becoming the victim of imminent domestic violence, the trial court must consider the current allegations, the parties’ behavior within the relationship, and the history of the relationship as a whole.
The issuance of stalking injunctions, became effective on October 1, 2012. Stalking is defined as the willful, malicious, and repeated following, harassing, or cyberstalking of another person. “Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose. Courts apply a reasonable person standard to determine whether an incident causes substantial emotional distress. Each incident of stalking must be proven by competent, substantial evidence to support an injunction against stalking. In granting a final judgment for protection against stalking, the trial court may restrain the respondent from committing any act of stalking and order such other relief as the court deems necessary for the protection of a victim of stalking.
Repeat Violence Injunction
“Repeat violence” means two incidents of violence or stalking, one of which must have been within 6 months of the filing of the petition, which are directed towards the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediately family.
Sexual Violence Injunction
“Sexual violence” means any one incident of sexual battery, a lewd or lascivious act upon a person younger than 16 years old, luring or enticing a child, sexual performance by a child, or any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted regardless of whether criminal charges were brought.
Dating Violence Injunction
“Dating violence” means violence between individuals who have had a significant relationship of a romantic nature. A dating relationship must have existed within the past 6 months. This provision does not include violence between persons in a casual acquaintanceship.