Domestic Violence Injunctions

Domestic Violence Injunctions and Florida Law

The Tampa Attorneys at the Family Law Advocates, P.A. take domestic violence matters seriously and so do Florida courts. When a person is the victim of domestic violence, he or she has the legal right to seek protection under Florida statutes. Domestic violence comes in many forms and injunctions can be sought for not only physical violence or threats, but also for things like stalking. The attorneys at the Family Law Advocates are skilled in all aspects of protection order and domestic violence injunction cases. We strive for excellence with each case we handle and our only concern is the outcome for you, the client. Regardless of which side of a “DVI” case you are on, call us today to get the experienced legal help you need.

Domestic ViolenceMost people are familiar with the terms “restraining order” or “protection order.” In Florida, the term Domestic Violence Injunction is commonly used. Pursuant to Florida Statue, Section 741.30, a person can seek a DVI if they are the victim of domestic violence or have been threatened with domestic violence. Statute allows a person to seek a DVI against a spouse or former spouse, someone they live with or have lived with who is related by blood or marriage, and the other parent of a commonly shared child. In most instances, an injunction will be sought by a spouse or partner. In Florida, the process generally entails filing an initial petition for DVI. If the judge hearing the matter determines that the petitioner is a victim of domestic violence or is at “imminent,” meaning immediate, risk of domestic violence, the court can issue an ex-parte injunction. The court will also set a return date, to be scheduled within 15 days of issuance of the temporary injunction. On that return date, an evidentiary hearing will be held to determine whether the DVI should be made permanent. If there has not been past domestic violence or an imminent threat is not found, the court can still authorize a hearing, but will not issue an ex-parte injunction.

At hearing, the petitioner has the burden of proof to show to the court why the DVI should be made permanent. As with any type of family law case, it is at hearing or trial where a party will be required to provide evidence supporting their allegations. Having an experienced domestic violence injunction attorney on your side can help with litigating your DVI case. Whether you’re defending against the injunction, or seeking to have it made permanent, proving your case is not always simple. Evidence must be admissible for the court to accept it and you will need to be ready to make the right arguments or claims to the court. That’s where the Family Law Advocates comes in.

Florida courts can also issue injunctions for stalking, sexual violence, dating violence, and repeated violence. Additionally, a court hearing a DVI matter can also enter provisions regarding use of a marital home, child support, alimony, and custody/time-sharing with the children. If your are dealing with a DVI injunction and also facing a dissolution of marriage (divorce), it may make sense to request that the cases be consolidated.

Our Approach to Domestic Violence Injunction Cases

When it comes time to meet with a member of our Tampa area family law team, the first step is for your attorney to gain a thorough understanding of the circumstances you are dealing with. If you are seeking the DVI, we want to make sure you have the facts and evidence to sustain your case before proceeding. If you’ve been served with a DVI, we also need to assess the facts and evidence, with the goal of formulating a strategy for defending you. With each client, we provide an honest assessment of your rights, options, and potential outcomes. From there, we will work hard to gather the evidence we need and prepare for trial. In some instances, DVI cases do settle without going to hearing. A person served with a DVI should be aware that violating the terms of the injunction can lead to a criminal charge. As such, these types of cases should be taken very seriously. A permanent DVI can also lead to restrictions on firearm ownership under federal law. Sometimes children may also be included on the DVI, though most judges will be hesitant to make an injunction regarding children permanent, absent significant harm issues.

Florida law also allows for modification or termination of a domestic violence injunction either by agreement or in certain situations.

Hire the Family Law Advocates to Help With Your DVI Case

The Family Law Advocates, P.A., handles all types of cases related to divorce and child custody. If you are in an unsafe situation and believe a domestic violence injunction may be needed, don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm. Likewise, if you’ve been served with a DVI, we can also help. We are ready to provide the guidance and representation you need to work towards making sure you are protected. Call us today at (813) 592-5000, or contact us online to schedule your appointment.

Office located in Tampa and available by appointment in St. Petersburg. Our firm helps clients throughout the Tampa metro area, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, and surrounding areas and counties.

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