Violence and Stalking Injunctions

Guardline Law offers representation to individuals seeking to obtain injunctions for protection (commonly referred to as “Restraining Orders”) and sometimes to those against whom such injunctions are being pursued.  Injunctions are simply Court orders requiring a person to refrain from certain acts, usually including contacting another person, their property, their place of employment, and/or their family members.  These orders are enforceable by police agencies, and will result in criminal charges when violated.  There are several different varieties of Injunctions for Protection available in Florida, and ensuring that you choose the correct option is the first step to obtaining this protection. Anyone seeking an injunction should solicit the advice of an attorney before doing so to maximize the possibility that they receive protection from the courts as quickly as possible.

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Injunctions Against Domestic Violence

The most common type of protective injunction sought involve allegations of domestic violence.  In Florida, 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 a family or household member by another family or household member.

To obtain an injunction against domestic violence, the petitioner (the person seeking protection) must meet certain requirements, including:

  1. Relationship Requirement: The petitioner must have a specific relationship with the respondent (the person against whom the injunction is sought), such as being a spouse, former spouse, household member, or having a child in common.
  2. Incident Requirement: The petitioner must demonstrate that they have been a victim of domestic violence or have reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent danger of becoming a victim.
  3. Filing the Petition: The petitioner must file a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence at the local courthouse. The petition has to lay out ALL of the allegations the petitioner intends to bring to the Court’s attention.  Anything left out of the petition will not be allowed in as evidence in the injunction hearing. The court may issue a temporary injunction if it finds reasonable cause to believe that domestic violence has occurred or is imminent.

Hearing: A hearing will be scheduled where both parties have the opportunity to present evidence and testimony. If the court determines that domestic violence has occurred or is likely to occur, it will grant a final injunction for protection and set a period of time the injunction will remain in effect.

Injunctions Against Repeat Violence

In addition to domestic violence, Florida law also provides for injunctions against repeat violence. These injunctions are available to individuals who have been victims of two or more acts of violence committed by the same person, regardless of the relationship between the parties.  The process for obtaining an injunction against repeat violence is the same as for a domestic violence injunction, including filing a petition with the court and attending a hearing to present evidence of the repeated acts of violence.  The difference are the facts the petitioner is required to allege and prove.  In order to obtain this type of injunction, the petitioner must prove at least two completely separate acts of violence or threats of violence against them were committed by the same person and claim a reasonable fear of continued violence from that person.  These acts MUST be included in the petition.  A failure in the allegations will result in a denial of the temporary injunction which is a clear indicator of the judge’s intention to deny the request for permanent injunction.

Injunctions Against Stalking

Stalking is a serious offense that can cause significant fear and distress to the victim. In Florida, injunctions against stalking are available to individuals who have been victims of physical stalking, harassment, and/or cyber stalking.

Physical Stalking: Physical stalking involves the repeated following, harassing, or surveillance of a person in a manner that causes substantial emotional distress.  This contact sometimes comes from a place of admiration or attraction, but is always harmful to the targeted person.  

Harassment: This includes any conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress and serves no legitimate purpose.  Often this type of stalking results from petit disputes or broken relationships and develops into an insidious toxic pattern of harm.  

Cyber Stalking: Cyber stalking involves the use of electronic communication to repeatedly harass or intimidate a person, causing substantial emotional distress.

To obtain an injunction against stalking, the petitioner must provide evidence of at least two separate occasions where they were subjected to the stalking behavior.  They also have to demonstrate that they have a reasonable fear of future stalking.  As with the other types of protective injunctions, these allegations must be specifically laid out in the petition in order for the petitioner to argue them in the injunction hearing.

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Contact Us Today

If you are in need of legal assistance in obtaining an injunction for protection in Florida, or defending against false allegations.  Guardline Law is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation and explore your legal options for obtaining the protection you deserve.

Call (727) 910-2565 or fill out the form to schedule a free consultation today.