Lakeland DVI and Domestic Violence Attorneys
Under Florida law, to obtain an injunction, the victim must file a petition with the court. If you are in imminent fear of violence, you do not have to be a victim of prior acts of violence to request an injunction. A petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence may be filed in the circuit where the petitioner currently or temporarily resides, where the respondent resides, or where the domestic violence occurred. There is no minimum requirement of residency to petition for an injunction for protection. The victim must provide the court with specific facts that he or she has been a victim of domestic abuse or is in danger of abuse in the very near future. The court then sets a hearing at the earliest possible time. If it appears to the court that an immediate and present danger of domestic violence exists, the court may grant a temporary injunction ex parte, pending a full hearing, and may grant such relief as the court deems proper, including an injunction.
In determining whether a petitioner has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the court shall consider and evaluate all relevant factors alleged in the petition, including, but not limited to:
1. The history between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse.
2. Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner.
3. Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner’s child or children.
4. Whether the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet.
5. Whether the respondent has used, or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives.
6. Whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement.
7. Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence.
8. The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously or from another jurisdiction.
9. Whether the respondent has destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communications equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner.
10. Whether the respondent engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.
A permanent injunction against the respondent can last for a specific time frame or until further order of the court, which may be forever. To modify or terminate a permanent injunction, either party may petition the court, but only after proving that the circumstances have changed and there is no longer a need for the injunction.
Injunctions place restrictions on the respondent such as “no contact within 500 feet” of the victim, exclusive use of a shared dwelling, exclusion of the respondent from the victim’s residence, place of employment, school, or other designated places frequented by the victim, the victim’s family or household members; temporary custody of minor children to the victim; and temporary surrender of firearms and ammunition.
Criminal charges can result in a violation of an injunction.
If you need help getting an injunction or fighting an injunction, contact Heather Bryan Law at 863-825-5309.